Mombasa, KENYA: The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Wednesday seized seven containers that were being removed from Kilindini port unprocedurally.
The containers had been released in the system before the vessel conveying them had docked at the port.
Consequently the Authority has suspended four Mombasa based Customs officers for their role in the suspected tax evasion racket .
The four officers, attached to the Customs and Border Control Department , have been implicated in a scheme to unprocedurally release nine imported cargo containers before verification of contents and on a lower customs tax assessment.
The suspension is part of a KRA transformation effort, aimed at sealing revenue leakage through a sustained zero tolerance to corruption campaign.
Speaking when he confirmed the suspensions, KRA Customs and Border Control Commissioner Julius Musyoki disclosed that seven of the nine containers, had already been intercepted for further verification at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Yard in Mombasa.
The remaining two containers which had already left the port are being traced.
“It is no longer business as usual at all our ports of entry. Any KRA officials suspected of abetting tax evasion will continue to face the full wrath of the law alongside their accomplices who include unscrupulous traders importing their cargo through the port of Mombasa,” Musyoki said.
All the intercepted containers, Musyoki added had been Risk Profiling thorugh the Simba system based on doutful description and value of the goods in the suspect containers.
By releasing the nine mis-declared containers without a physical verification, the four officers are in breach of the KRA code of conduct and have been suspended pending further investigations.
The KRA standard operating procedure specifies that all imported cargo, be discharged and stacked by KPA at the port or at an authorized Inland containerdepot pending verification and release by KRA ,KEBS and KPA.
once the importer/agent has duly processed the applicable documents and paid taxes upon verification the goods are released and gate passes issued for exit of cargo.