KRA officails charged with multiple offences following illegal sugar clearance

From left: Stephen Ochieng, Monica Waceke and Vivian Moraa at the Mombasa Court in Mombasa County on Wednesday 22nd August 2018. They were released on a cash bail of Ksh 500,000. Their case will be mentioned on September 6. [Photo: Kelvin Karani/Standard]

Mombasa court has charged three Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials for illegally clearing substandard imported sugar into the market.

A statement from the taxman indicates that Vivian Moraa Rioba, Monica Waceke Kiarie and Stephen Ochieng Onditi have been charged with multiple offences. Such include abuse of office, ‘breach of trust and willful disobedience of statutory duty.’

The three are accused of releasing 10,000 bags (each 50kgs) of sugar into the market, within the period of June 29 to July 11, 2018.

Rioba, Kiarie and Onditi denied the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Rebera. The presiding judge Rebera released them on Sh500,000 cash bail each, with alternative of Sh1.5m and surety of similar amount.

The three who have so far been suspended by the KRA have been ordered to visit the Office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation once a week, as they wait for the hearing slated for next month (September 6).

Commitment to the fight

In the same statement, KRA has expressed commitment to fighting graft, stating that it will work closely with the law enforcers to facilitate prosecution of those found culpable.

“This arrests and prosecution is part of the continued joint commitment between the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and KRA to deepen collaboration in combating tax evasion and corruption involving collusion between taxpayers and KRA staff,” statement reads.

It adds that the government agencies will focus on weeding out corruption in three areas within the mandate of revenue collector.

This will include the management of customs clearance operations, importation and local manufacture of goods and stumping out illegal trade.

This preceded another case in which the importer of the bags of sugar and the officials of Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) who certified the goods were also arraigned in court.

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KRA officialsCharged in CourtSubstandard sugarMombasa Court