Man charged in Sh7b tax evasion scandal

Kinyuru Munuhe and Bernard Gitau @PeopleDailyKe

A Nairobi-based businessman was yesterday charged with four counts of tax evasion amounting to Sh7 billion by Kenya Revenue Authority marking a major breakthrough in war against tax evaders.

Keval Kumar was arraigned before Makadara Law Court chief magistrate Mbogo Nyaga and denied “knowingly and deliberately failing to remit income tax returns for 2015 and 2016 amounting to Sh15,369,511,856”.

KRA investigators raided Keval’s and Arti Jagdiesh Bakrania residence on Wednesday where they recovered 10 Electronic Transmission Register (ETR) machines used to facilitate the scam.

However, Arti was not presented in court and her whereabouts remain unknown. KRA detectives from the Investigations and Enforcement Department established the suspect had registered more than nine business names and made fictitious invoicing in excess of Sh15.3 billion.

Currently, the taxman is investigating approximately 66 missing traders and more than 2,000 beneficiaries of the scheme mainly in the construction sector, hardware and household goods imports, scrap metal dealers and importers of electronic items such as mobile phones.

Keval was released on a Sh5million cash bail and a bond of Sh15million and a surety of a similar amount. And last evening, KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini revealed that companies have been using fake invoices to understate their Value Added Tax (VAT).

“Some companies have been using fictitious information to understate their VAT using fake invoices manufactured in the country,” he said. Njiraini said Keval had assisted companies to evade remitting more than Sh7 billion by making them the counterfeits invoices.

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