Court prohibits 38 KRA suspects in tax evasion probe from interfering with systems

38 KRA suspects in tax evasion probe have been prohibited from contacting offices.

A court has prohibited 38 Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) suspects in tax evasion probe from contacting offices and interfering with the systems.

The suspects through their lawyer John Swaka appeared before High Court Judge Luka Kimaru Wednesday and were directed to be appearing before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on weekdays at 10am.

“All the suspects have appeared before the court indicating that they are complying with the prosecution,” said Swaka told Kimaru.

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Judge Kimaru at the same time upheld Sh200,000 cash bail granted to the suspects pending the conclusion of investigations.

Meanwhile, the 38 suspects were on May 17, 2019 bailed out on Sh200,000 bail each.

They had been arraigned in court after they were arrested on allegations of tax avoidance and abuse of office.

The prosecution, through Inspector Arthur K. Onyango, submitted that it was seeking to arrest more suspects as well as conduct a forensic examination on mobile phones, computers and other electronics obtained from the suspects.

“The activities of the respondents and their associates pose a great risk to the mainstay of the economy hence risking the national security and their actions must be fully investigated,” submitted the prosecution.

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Inspector Onyango told the court that the evidence so far gathered and credible intelligence show that the accused were actively involved and colluded with certain tax payers in criminal enterprise to evade payment of taxes or reduce tax liability.

On May 13, 2019 court had ordered the detention of the 38 suspects for 14 days pending the completion of the investigation but they moved to the high court where they were granted a cash bail of Sh200,000 each to secure their freedom pending the hearing and determination of their application.

18 more suspects linked to the same offence were detained for 10 days despite a long argument to block their detention.

Magistrate Paul Mayovo last week ruled that an application by the prosecution to detain them has quality and allowed it.

“There are compelling reasons to hold the suspects for 10 days so that the investigation officers can conclude investigations on items they seized for suspects including mobile phones, computers and other items,” said Mayovo.

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He added he cannot confirm when the ruling at the High Court in an application to review detention order will be made and therefore the suspects should be detained.

The ruling was made soon after the defense through their lawyers made an application to differ with a ruling for detention pending the ruling of the High Court matter.

Through lawyer Philip Nyachoti, Ian Maina, Tom Ojienda, Danson Omari among other lawyers, the suspects pleaded with the court to have a hearing on custodial orders delayed pending the outcome of the matter at the high court.

The matter involving the 38 suspects will be mentioned on June 13, 2019.

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Kenya Revenue AuthorityKRATax Evasion