KRA has today interdicted 75 staff suspected of involvement in activities that undermine the institution’s mandate by abetting tax evasion and facilitating access to services through bribery and corruption.
The practices in question include facilitation of irregular/fraudulent clearance of cargo, fraudulent amendment of tax returns so as to help taxpayers evade taxes and the irregular issuance of Tax Compliance Certificates.
Of those affected, 61 are from Domestic Taxes Department and 14 are from Customs and Border Control Department. The bulk of the cases (62) touch on staff based in Nairobi. Investigations into the rackets have been in progress for the last four months with covert assistance provided by national law enforcement agencies to help in trailing money and communication.
The officers affected have been detained for questioning and statement recording, prior to their arraignment in court, expected to happen within May 2019.
Today’s crackdown is part of KRA’s enhanced anti-corruption push which has gained momentum with the full establishment of the Intelligence and Strategic Operations Department, whose mandate includes combating tax evasion through the promotion of ethical practices amongst KRA staff.
The department is tasked to promote ethical conduct through the creation of effective corruption prevention frameworks, staff sensitization and the detection and investigation of corrupt acts. Its other roles include providing KRA support to National Government initiatives touching on corruption and crime eradication and the combat of cross border criminal activities including terrorism and money laundering.
Part of the recent corruption interdiction activities within KRA have seen the termination of employment for 85 officers within 2018, the institution of 15 cases of life style audits of which 3 have been completed and appropriate actions taken to implement the findings including asset recovery and employment termination.
Future plans will see intensified focus on lifestyle audits with the goal to undertake up to 50 such audit cases annually. Meanwhile, arrangements are in high gear to implement an electronic Intelligence Gathering System, expected to be in place within the next 3 months.