Raila luxury car among 18 seized in KRA tax probe

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s luxury vehicle is among 18 top-of-the-range cars impounded by detectives over fraudulent registration claims.

The Range Rover registration KCS 002D has been seized as Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) intensifies crackdown on 444 cars that authorities say have either not been paid for duty or were stolen.

A search at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) for registration particulars of the vehicle did not yield any results as the DCI boss George Kinoti-led team seeks answers on its ownership, but according to KRA records the car is linked to Raila.

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Other than Raila’s car, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa’s Range Rover that was flagged by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in 2016 is also being sought. High-end vehicles linked to three Jubilee MPs, Maoka Maore of Igembe North, Mathias Robi of Kuria West and George Theuri of Embakasi West are others on the wanted list.

Maore is listed as owner of KBL 088N (Range Rover), Theuri’s is a Mercedes Benz registration KCR 565W and a Toyota KCG 800J registered in the name of Robi.

Kirinyaga Woman Rep Purity Ngirici’s husband, Peter Ngirici, has a Range Rover registration number KCC 241P, which coincidentally is also indicated as having an alternative number of GKA702.

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The vehicles also include a Range Rover owned by Starehe parliamentary loser Steve Mbogo that was found to be using registration details KCL 830A that are also shared by a Probox.   

Former West Mugirango MP James Gesami, who lost in Nyamira gubernatorial seat, in the last polls has Toyota Premio KBE 365T under his name.

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Former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, who also unsuccessfully contested the Homa Bay governorship, has KBZ 333Q (Toyota Land cruiser) under his name.

Top-of-the-range

Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (Kirdi) board member Hussein Abshiro Hussein, who lost the Mandera North seat in the last polls, has two cars listed under his name. They are a Range Rover KBT 505D and a Toyota Land cruiser Prado KCB 788J.

South Nyanza Sugar Company (Sony), a state owned firm, is also listed as having a Land Rover KAA 315P that is also wanted.

Out of the 444 cars that police are targeting, 64 are Range Rovers, Mercedes Benz (94) and Toyotas (224).

Other makes include 22 Nissan, one Porsche, 26 Subarus, four Volkswagens, and two Volvos whose registration details are suspicious according to the DCI.

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On July 31st this year, the DCI, through the officer in charge of Kenya Revenue Authority, issued a signal to all police stations in the country to impound the cars.

“A list of the attached vehicles are circulated in order to have them traced and detailed. The motor vehicles are suspected to have been fraudulently registered and they’re therefore unaccustomed since taxes in their regard have not been paid,” Peter Kiboro, the DCI KRA unit said.

The 12-page memo required police chiefs to inform Kiboro urgently and impound any of the targeted cars.  

Some of the vehicles are said to be entering the country as transit to neighbouring countries but end up in Nairobi and other towns thereby denying the taxman millions in unpaid duty.

Considered untouchable

KRA has of late intensified crackdown on tax evaders who include businessman, governors and firms that were initially considered untouchable.  

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In 2016, some 124 high-end cars with unpaid taxes worth over Sh300 million were placed on the wanted list with Wamalwa’s’ black luxury vehicle, a Range Rover V8 model manufactured in 2015, shown as having a number plate belonging to a truck.

Last month, KRA Commissioner General James Mburu vowed to intensify crackdown on tax cheats saying no one is being targeted as an individual.  

“Kenyans should reject the narrative that KRA is fighting any individual or business. On the contrary, KRA has the additional responsibility of trade facilitation under which we support a business environment that is conducive for growth of business, which further results in increased taxes,” Mburu said.

The KRA boss added; “All we desire is that all eligible taxpayers make every effort to pay their rightful share of taxes. We must all contribute in an equitable manner to the development of our country.”

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