The Kenya Revenue Authority employee being investigated over his Sh615 million wealth had been interdicted to facilitate the probe, the tax agency has said.
The authority admitted that Joseph Chege Gikonyo was on active duty until October 2016, when he was suspended, and that he has been under investigation for tax evasion, conflict of interest and economic crimes.
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Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner for Intelligence and Strategic Operations Githii Mburu, in a press statement, said investigations on tax evasion had been concluded and the findings forwarded to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for action.
“The findings on tax evasion have been shared with EACC to facilitate prosecution of economic crimes in addition to recovery of the taxes he owes KRA,” said Mr Mburu.
The official stated that Gikonyo was the KRA manager in Eldoret until October 31, 2016, when he was interdicted over allegations of being involved in malpractices.
Mburu added that Gikonyo was still being investigated in connection with allegations of violating the KRA code of conduct.
The Standard had exclusively reported how Gikonyo was living large on his wealth estimated to be worth Sh615 million, raising questions about its source as his monthly salary was Sh119, 000.
The High Court last week issued orders stopping the transfer of his multi-million shilling property after EACC sought to recover the wealth alleged to have been amassed through corruption.
Gikonyo has been an employee of KRA since 1998, where he started off as a junior tax collector at Loitokitok earning a basic salary of Sh24, 369. His last position was KRA manager in Eldoret with a net pay of Sh119, 617.
The EACC’s investigations revealed that Gikonyo, his wife Lucy Kangai and their company, Giche Limited, evaded paying Sh38 million in taxes.
The anti-graft commission attached all his payslips from 1998 and statements of proceeds from tea farming in Murang'a, which showed he has earned a combined Sh45 million in the past 20 years as proof of the mystery behind the massive wealth.
Among the property the EACC wants surrendered to the State are two plots in Nyali valued at Sh125 million, two parcels of land in Shanzu, Mombasa County, valued at Sh26 million and a house in Kilifi town valued at Sh27 million.
Other property at the Coast are a Sh40 million house in Mombasa town, a parcel of land in Kwale valued at Sh2.5 million and another plot in Mtwapa valued at Sh2 million.
Gikonyo’s listed property in Nairobi are 13 plots in Sosian Estate valued at Sh75 million, several flats in Umoja Estate valued at Sh33.5 million, a house at Greenspan Estate valued at Sh12 million and a Sh9 million house in Vescon Estate.