A Businessman who is allegedly involved in the illegal exportation of hides and skins to evade export duty was on Monday arraigned before a Mombasa Court.
The accused, Onywa Caleb Orwa was charged that on 11th September 2020, being a representative of the exporter, jointly with others not before Court, unlawfully made an entry in a Customs document declaring that a consignment of 6000 pieces of dried hides and skins stashed in a container was transit goods originating from South Sudan, a fact he knew to be untrue, thereby evading payment of 1.7 million kshs 1,732,210 being export duty due to the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control.
The suspect who was brought before Mombasa Senior resident magistrate Ms Christine Ogweno pleaded not guilty to the charge.
However, he was denied bail after an application from the prosecution maintaining that he had absconded after being granted bail in a different case in the past.
Ongweno ordered the accused person to be remanded in police custody and fixed the matter on Thursday, 1st April, for hearing of the bail application case, where the prosecution would be required to give their evidence on the accused having absconded Court in the past case.
Unscrupulous Traders behind the scandal export locally sourced hides and skins as transit cargo originating from South Sudan.
On 21st, September 2020, KRA Investigation and Enforcement detectives seized one 40 feet Container with hides and skins declared as transit cargo for export to Nigeria.
The consignment declared as originating from South Sudan was seized and is being held at Kilindini Port Police Station.
The investigation revealed that the goods never originated from South Sudan but were instead gathered locally.
It is worth noting that exportation of hides and skins is a restricted export that attracts export duty and by misdeclaring country of origin, the exporter is perpetuating tax evasion.
The exporter represented by the clearing and forwarding company is liable to violation of Section 70(2) of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.