Three clearing agents charged over sh. 1.7 million tax evasion

Containers at the Mombasa Port./PHOTO COURTESY

Three directors of two clearing and forwarding firms were on Thursday arraigned before a Mombasa court and charged with using false customs documents to evade payment of import duty amounting to Ksh1,722,211.

Mohamed Ali Abdi and Abdifatah Ali Noor, directors of All Freight Logistics were charged with declaring imported goods under tax exemption regime code knowing that the respective importers did not qualify for tax exemption.

They had separately declared that the importers were returning from abroad and the goods were their used personal items, but further verification by investigators found that the importers had never traveled out of Kenya and that the goods belonged to several individuals as per markings on packages.

The court heard that on or about 24th June 2020, being the directors of a limited liability company, jointly with others not before court unlawfully used false customs documents and wrong customs regime code, thereby evading paying cumulative import taxes of Ksh1,157,789.

The accused denied committing the offense before Mombasa senior resident magistrate Martin Rabera, who released them on a bond of Ksh500,000 and an alternative of Ksh100,000 cash bail.

The court fixed the mention of the case on 6th August 2020.

In the second case before the same court, George Onyango Orek and his company Jamreks Enterprises, faced two counts of declaring imported goods under tax exemption regime code knowing well that the importer did not qualify for tax exemption, leading to evasion of import duty worth Ksh564,422.

He denied committing the offense and was released on a surety bond of Ksh100,000 and an alternative of Ksh50,000 cash bail.

The court was told that KRA investigators had detained the consignment and would ensure the goods are declared under the correct tax regime and adequate taxes are paid before they are released.