The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Friday interdicted 75 staff suspected of facilitating 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 the 75 KRA staff, 61 are from Domestic Taxes Department and 14 are from the Customs and Border Control Department with 62 of them based in Nairobi.
The investigations into the rackets have been in progress for the last four months with 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,” said KRA through a statement.
The Kenya Revenue Authority said it had since established an Intelligence and Strategic Operations Department with the mandate of combating tax evasion through the promotion of ethics within the organization.
The 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.
“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,” said KRA.
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.
In 2018, KRA terminated the employment of 85 officers in its fight against corruption.
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 lifestyle audits of which 3 have been completed and appropriate actions taken to implement the findings including asset recovery and employment termination.
KRA also plans to intensify its focus on lifestyle audits with the goal to undertake up to 50 such audit cases annually as well as implement an electronic Intelligence Gathering System within the next 3 months.