Two traders charged with Sh1.5bn tax evasion

Two businessmen were on February 21, 2020 charged before a Mombasa court with evading Sh1.5 billion tax. FILE PHOTO | AFP

What you need to know:

  • They also faced two other counts of defaulting to pay Sh434.9 million in the year 2017.

  • The suspects also defaulted to remit Sh522.9 million in the year 2018.

  • The suspects pleaded not guilty and were released on a bond of Sh20 million and a surety of the same amount.

Two businessmen were on Friday charged before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti with evading tax worth Sh1.5 billion.

The traders, Rahim Qasim and Rameez Gulzar Ali alongside their firm Jhulay Lal Commodities limited were found to have been importing rice into the country while deliberately failing to pay Income Tax. 

In a statement to the media, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Investigation and Enforcement Commissioner David Yego said the traders were arrested following an investigation conducted by the authority.

THREE COUNTS

“According to investigation, it was established that for the period between January 2015 and December 2018, the suspects imported rice worth Sh1.68 billion. The traders then sold the rice and banked the proceeds in their various companies’ accounts,” the statement read.

The suspects faced three counts of tax evasion. In the first count, the suspects while trading as Jihulay Lai commodities limited, jointly with others not before court, knowingly defaulted to remit Income Tax of Ksh595, 363,478 in the year 2016.  

SURRENDER PASSPORTS

They also faced two other counts of defaulting to pay Sh434.9 million in the year 2017. The statement further notes the amount arose from omitted business undertakings with a sum of Sh1.4 billion.

The suspects also defaulted to remit Sh522.9 million in the year 2018. This amount accumulated from the omitted business undertakings with a sum of Sh1.7 billion.

The suspects pleaded not guilty and were released on a bond of Sh20 million and a surety of the same amount. They were also ordered hand in their passports to the court.  The case will be mentioned on March 3.

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