Mauritius offers to return Kenyans’ hidden billions
SEE ALSO :Kenya U23 thrash MauritiusTax treaty Mauritius Secretary for Foreign Affairs Dwarka Canabady told The Standard on the sidelines of a business forum between the two countries in Nairobi, her government was keen on improving bilateral trade with Kenya and that such an agreement was a possibility. “I know that it is difficult to come up with such pacts. However, nothing is impossible. All Kenya needs to do is ask for such an agreement and we can discuss. Our Attorney General is aware of the possibilities of such discussions,” said Ms Canabady. “You will remember that we are also signatories of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tax treaty so sharing tax information with Kenya is not difficult,” she added. Business delegation
SEE ALSO :Chase Bank deal boosts SBM profitsKenya’s Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Mauritius has also been a subject of controversy, with the Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-Africa), a lobby for taxpayers in African countries, saying the agreement has been exploited greatly to benefit Mauritius. “Under this agreement, foreign investors in Kenya can acquire Kenyan companies through Mauritius holding companies and Kenya cannot tax any of the gains when they sell these businesses again. This is open to abuse. Similarly, domestic Kenyan investors can dodge Kenyan taxes by round-tripping their investments illicitly through Mauritian shell companies,” TJN-Africa notes in a statement on its website. Overseas accounts If Mauritius were to ratify an agreement to repatriate illicit money held in its bank accounts to Kenya, the agreement would go a long way in boosting the Kenyan Government’s efforts to recover billions, especially ill-gotten wealth, stashed in overseas bank accounts.