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Clearing agent charged for falsifying tax payment slips

[Geoffrey Onyancha Otara, before Kwale Court. Photo/Courtesy/KRA].

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has unearthed a tax evasion scheme where unscrupulous persons use forged documents to facilitate foreign registered vehicles to operate in Kenya without paying requisite taxes.

According to investigations by KRA officers, the culprits use a false payment slips to facilitate the clearance of foreign registered motor vehicles, thus evading payment of transit road toll fees.

In one such instance, a clearing agent, Geoffrey Onyancha Otara, was arrested in connection to the scheme and arraigned at the Kwale Law Courts on April, 29, 2021.

He was charged that on or about 22nd March, 2021 at Lunga Lunga OneStop Border Post (OSBP) within Kwale County, being a representative of an exporter, Pwani Hauliers Limited, jointly with others not before court unlawfully presented false documents, namely F147, to the Commissioner of Customs and Border Control which he knew or ought to have known to be false.”

He also faced a second count of conspiring with others not before court to unlawfully use a false document to evade taxes, in contravention of the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004 (EACCMA).

The suspect denied committing the offence when he appeared before Kwale Resident Magistrate Christine Auka.

He was released on a Ksh 70,000 surety bond on an alternative of Ksh. 40,000 cash bail.

The case will be mentioned on May, 13, 2021.

The KRA Investigations team established that the person was appointed by Pwani Hauliers Limited to facilitate movement of their trucks from Tanzania into and out of Kenya through Lunga Lunga OSBP, but while he had been provided with funds to pay requisite duties, he forged payment slips and presented them to KRA as genuine.