The Kenya Revenue Authority, KRA has seized 25 containers of hides and skins at the Port of Mombasa.
KRA officials said the consignment would have led to the government loosing over 75 Million shillings in export duty, should the culprits have managed to export the cargo.
The intercepted consignment was among 50 containers of hides and skins that had been set aside for 100% verification on suspicion of being misdeclared as other goods to evade the payment of export duties.
“The scheme involves loading containers with raw hides and skins meant for export from local godowns in the absence of Customs officers which is contrary to customs law on exports,” said Investigation and Enforcement Commissioner, Edward Karanja.
He reiterated that KRA has tightened the noose against perpetrators of a tax evasion scheme on non-payment of export duties on locally sourced raw hides and skins, in contravention of Customs laws.
Export declarations are made in customs systems with false information on description of goods, local exporter, country of destination and weight.
The goods declared in customs export documents are disguised as those that are exempted from export duties.
“Further, in the course of investigations, KRA received a tipoff that the involved merchants were in the process of scuttling the investigations by offering bribes,” Mr Karanja disclosed.
KRA jointly with Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) laid a trap and arrested three suspects who had offered a bribe of 700,000 shillings.
“KRA is determined to ensure there is a fair playing ground for legitimate business to thrive and the public is encouraged to undertake legitimate and clean business. KRA has an elaborate intelligence network to detect, disrupt and deter such tax evasion schemes to create a level playing field for all,” Noted Mr. Karanja.