SUSPECTS RELEASED ON BOND

Prosecution completes tax evasion probe

In Summary

• Probe on 68 KRA staff who were arrested two months ago on allegations of aiding tax evasion are already complete

Some of the KRA officials at the Milimani law courts on Monday, May 13, 2019
Some of the KRA officials at the Milimani law courts on Monday, May 13, 2019 
Image: COLLINS KWEYU

Investigations into tax evasion allegations against 68 Kenya Revenue Authority workers are complete, the prosecution has said.

The court was, however, told that 21 KRA workers are still being investigated.

Lead prosecutor Alexanda Muteti yesterday told Justice Luka Kimaru that they had just received a letter forwarding 16 files from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

As a result, the prosecution made a verbal application seeking to be granted 30 days to go through the findings in the files to establish the suspects to be prosecuted.

The court directed that the prosecution to give a report on the people to be prosecuted in September.  This means that the 68 suspects could be charged if the Director of Public Prosecutions approves the outcome of the investigator’s findings on the case.

On May 10, more than 80 suspects were arrested at KRA Domestic Taxes Department and Customs and Border Control Department over allegations of aiding in tax evasion. However, they have not been charged yet.

They were released on Sh200,000 bail or bond on condition that they consistently report to the DCI - a condition Justice Kimaru suspended.

“I direct that any further appearance before the DCI will be by formal summons through the investigators office,” the judge said.

Thirty-eight suspects were presented in court two months ago but did not take plea. Instead, the police were allowed to hold them for another 14 days as they continue with their investigations.

 

This came amid speculations that staff at the authority were planning a go-slow to protest the arrests of their colleagues.

Sources indicated that detectives had been monitoring conversations in WhatsApp forums set up by the KRA staff which revealed the plan.

 “They want to argue that because many people have been arrested and interdicted, the workload has increased and they will not be able to collect taxes efficiently,” a source involved in the investigations said.

DCI investigators also added that new evidence emerged from the interrogation and confiscated phones that could increase charges against those arrested.

The case will be mentioned on September 19.