Three traders were yesterday charged in a Nairobi court with forging Kenya Revenue Authority excise duty stamps worth Sh822 million.
Stephen Kimani and Rhoda Mungai who are a couple, and businessman Joseph Muchemi appeared before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Joyce Gandani and denied four other counts of counterfeiting trade marks of various wines and spirits firms.
The accused were arrested at Cool Wines and Spirit shop in Pipeline AA estate, Nairobi county, where more contraband, including alcohol was found in their possession.
After denying the charges, the Director of Public Prosecutions through Senior State Counsel Daniel Karuri opposed bail application saying forgery is a serious offence, which attracts a seven-year jail term, while the other charges facing the suspects are punishable by fines of not less than Sh5 million or three years in prison or both if they are convicted.
“The public order will be disturbed and undermined if the accused are released on bail, in light of the first charge we are looking at 5,400,000 KRA fake stamps amount to more than Sh 822 million which would have found their way into the market,” the prosecutor said.
Karuri also said that the incentive for the accused person to abscond trial is high depending on the nature of the offence and the penalty. The court will this morning rule whether to release the accused on bail.