KRA officer, wife arrested over unexplained wealth

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 00:00 | By
EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak.

A senior Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officer and his wife who were arrested yesterday over tax evasion risk losing assets worth Sh597 million, which they accumulated in five years.

The two also risk being fined Sh1 million or jailed for about 10 years or both, according to Section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (ACECA).

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives arrested the couple, Joseph Chege Gikonyo and Lucy Kangai Stephen for failing to pay taxes to KRA amounting to Sh38,629,694.

The duo who are the directors of Giche Limited are the latest victims of the EACC over possession of unexplained wealth and tax evasion.

EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak yesterday said the two accumulated the assets between the years 2010 and 2015 .

They will be charged in court today with fraudulent failure to pay taxes under the ACECA.

 “Upon completion of the investigation and pursuant to Section 35 of the ACECA, the file was submitted to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions who upon review has granted consent to apprehend and arraign before court,” Mbarak said.

Section 48 of the ACECA states that a person convicted of such offence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.

They can also be liable to an additional mandatory fine, which is equal to two times the amount of the benefit or loss.

At least 40 suspects have been arrested by EACC in the last one month. Among the latest are 12 suspects including a senior official at the Office of the Deputy President who was former deputy director at the Kenya School of Law.

According to the EACC, the school lost Sh198 million in irregular payments to six companies associated with employees for goods and services that were not delivered.

They are Ademwa Enterprises, Firmline Company, Deskench Investments, Ngoya Cosmetics, Frigoya Investments, Alfranc Investments.

Suspects are Prof Morris Liwinda Mbondenyi, the Secretary Policy and Coordination at DP William Ruto’s office who was then the Deputy Director at the School, Amos Kabue Mwangi (assistant director, Finance and Administration), and Frank Kackson Were (Finance Manager).

Others were Hudson Amwai Lwigado (Accountant and also proprietor of Ademwa Enterprises), Achiro Nobert Gondi Assistant Accountant and also the proprietor of Firmline Company) and Ephrain Thuku Ngumi (Assistant Accountant) among others.

EACC has also in the recent past charged three Samburu officials who were arrested for corruption and violation of procurement laws in the award of a tender for the purchase of two tractors worth Sh8,418,964 to CMC Motor Group Ltd.

Reuben Lemunyete Maruben (the Chief Officer, Agriculture), Daniel Nakuo Lenolkirina (Chief Officer, Finance) and Geoffrey Kitewan Marun (Head of Procurement) are alleged to have fraudulently misrepresented facts in order  to  influence  the  award  of  the  tender  by purporting to rely on procurement tendering documents of a previous tender contract which was already executed and performed by the same company.

Earlier, the DPP also ordered for the arrest of 12 Kenya Maritime Authority officials and contractors in a multi-million tendering scandal that would have cost the taxpayers Sh205 million.

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