FIGHTING ILLICIT TRADE

Suspect behind fake KRA stamps from China arrested

Cartel distributes stamps to alcohol manufacturers and distributors who evade tax

In Summary

• KRA says there is a criminal network making excise stamps in China

• Jane Mary was arrested at JKIA after landing from the Asian nation

Kenya Revenue Authority has confirmed the arrest of an alleged main suspect who has been behind fake excise revenue stamps
FAKE STAMPS: Kenya Revenue Authority has confirmed the arrest of an alleged main suspect who has been behind fake excise revenue stamps
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has confirmed the arrest of a suspected peddler of fake excise revenue stamps at JKIA upon arrival from China.

Jane Mary Muthoni Gichengo is suspected to be part of a criminal network that manufactures excise stamps in China and consigns them to Kenya under concealment.

KRA said that the manufactured stamps are distributed through a locally-based cartel.

 

The cartel distributes stamps to alcohol manufacturers and distributors who end up evading taxes to the government.

Gichengo is in police custody waiting to be arraigned.

The arrest is part of the fight initiated by KRA against illicit products in the local market to ensure revenue loopholes are sealed.

On April 24, 2019, officers from KRA acting on intelligence intercepted a consignment containing 11 packages of counterfeit excise stamps at JKIA imported from China.

The consignment declared as 189 packages containing mobile phone accessories valued at $3,750 had been exported by Jia Mei International Trade in China and consigned to Buush Investments Limited in Kenya.

During the joint verification of the consignment, KRA and Revenue Protection Services officers found concealed counterfeit excise stamps and other undeclared goods consolidated

Mary Gichengo
Mary Gichengo

The Clearing agent and the importer, one Abdi Rizak Omar Aden indicated that the consignment of counterfeit excise stamps were sent by one Jane Muthoni Gichengo from China.

The investigations established that the consignment of stamps as per the consolidation manifest was consigned to Martin Igesha Kinoru.

Part of the counterfeit stamps were to be collected by Peter Macharia Njoroge while the remainder were to be collected by Patrick Mwangi who is Gichengo's driver and drop them at Jane’s house.

Martin Kinoru and Peter Macharia Njoroge were arraigned before Milimani Court No. 8 under case no 311/2019.

Gichengo has been in China and was arrested on arrival at JKIA on September 12, 2019, and will be arraigned in Court on Monday.

She will be charged with concealment of imported counterfeit excise stamps contrary to Section 202(a),(b) and (c) of the EACCMA 2004 and being in possession of Counterfeit excise stamps Contrary to Regulation 30 (1) d) & e) of Excise Act, 2015.

KRA together with the multi-agency team on illicit trade and counterfeits comprising of KEBS, ACA, Public Health and DCI have so far seized goods worth Sh7.5 billion from a countrywide crackdown.

The goods were seized during the crackdown which began in May 2018. Counterfeit goods worth Sh1.5 billion have been destroyed.

The team has been relentless to ensure an economy free of counterfeits and illicit products since May last year following a presidential directive.

The team continues to conduct operations in different parts of the country with a view of curbing contraband, counterfeits and illicit goods.