Family faces Sh85m tax cheat charges

Jipsy Civil and Building Contractors directors (from left) Ivy Wangari, Joseph Ngacha, Mary Wanjiru, Kelvin Munyiri and George Ngacha at a Nyeri court yesterday. [Mose Sammy, Standard]
A couple and its three children were yesterday arraigned in Nyeri charged with evading to pay taxes amounting to Sh85 million.

Joseph Ngacha, his wife Mary Wanjiru, their daughter Ivy Wangari and sons Kelvin Munyiri and George Ngacha were each charged with several offences relating to tax evasion.

Wanjiru, Wangari, Munyiri and George faced additional counts of failure to submit tax returns for 2017, 2018 and 2019.

According to the charge sheet, the family members, who are all directors of Jipsy Civil and Building Contractors, were in the first count charged with failure to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) worth Sh23.6 million.

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They faced a second count of failure to pay VAT worth Sh39.4 million for the year 2017 and a third count of failing to remit Sh10.7 million for the year 2018.

The fourth count stated that the five failed to pay corporation taxes amounting to Sh1.7 million for the year 2015.

The fifth charge was failure by the accused to pay self-assessment VAT for December 2015 amounting to Sh2.9 million.  

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The five, who appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Faith Muguongo, denied all charges and applied to be released on reasonable bond terms.

Lawyer Levy Munyeri, for the accused, said his clients were entitled to reasonable bond or bail.

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The firm in question, he noted, was struggling with a financial burden as a result of debt owed it by some suppliers, among them government agencies.

KRA, through lawyer Faith Munyiri, did not oppose the bond application but requested the court to consider gravity of the offences.

The magistrate released the five on cash bail of Sh2 million each or bond of Sh3 million with a surety of the same amount.

Wanjiru, Wangari, Munyiri and George were further granted a cash bail of Sh100,000 each or a bond of Sh200,000 for additional charges.

The case will be mentioned on October 23.

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