By Beth Nyaga
The Kenya Revenue Authority has arraigned three liquor manufacturers before court for tax evasion.
The three; Robert Kibira- Director Tihan Limited, James Gichana Mbuthia- Director Cryan Limited and George Ng’ang’a Thairu Director Kedsta Investment were charged with removing excisable goods from the factory without affixed excise stamps contrary to section 28 of the excisable duty act 2015.
Together, the accused directors owe KRA Kshs1, 120, 717 duty evaded from the stamps which were not affixed on the liquor.
Tihan Limited is reported to have removed 2,169.5 litres of Bubblez vodka without stamps and with a tax liability of KSh379, 662.5.
Cryan Limited is reported to have removed 2, 529 litres of Kingstone Vodka with a tax liability of KShs442, 680.
Kedsta Investments reportedly removed 1, 705 litres of Shujaa gin with a tax liability of KShs298, 375.
KRA in September this year, introduced into the market a smartphone application dubbed ‘Soma Label’ which verifies whether an excise stamp on excisable products such beers, cigarettes and wine are genuine and if they are from a licensed manufacturer.
The app has so far helped identify false excisable products in the market.
KRA market surveillance team is alert on the ground to identify false products using the app. For the year ended June, revenue under goods bearing the new excise stamps jumped 43 per cent, adding Sh8 billion to the revenue collected.