Car importers, clearing agents charged for evading Ksh53.8m import duty

PRESS RELEASE 04/10/2019

Two directors of a motor-vehicle importation firm, together with five directors of clearing and forwarding firms were today charged in a Mombasa court for colluding to evade import duty totalling to Ksh53,878,679 million.

The court heard that George Njihia Njoroge, and  Boniface Macharia, being directors of Manjok International Limited, on diverse dates between 6th July 2017 and 2nd November 2018, jointly with others not before court, knowingly concerned themselves with the fraudulent evasion of duty. They are accused of using an incorrect customs duty rate of 10% instead of the applicable 25% in respect of the motor vehicles imported under various customs entries.

Mombasa Chief Magistrate Ms Edna Nyaloti released them on a bond of Ksh4 million with an alternative of Ksh200,000 cash bail.  

One of the directors of a clearing and forwarding firm, L Port Solutions Limited, Ms Sarah Wamaitha Gitau, was charged for fraudulently evading duty amounting to Ksh24,445,110 on diverse dates between 9th September 2017 and 18th April 2019. Ms Wamaitha with others who were not before the court knowingly used incorrect customs duty rate of 10% instead of the applicable 25% in respect of the motor-vehicles imported under various customs entries.

Another director of different clearing and forwarding firm, George Otieno Ogutu of Fleet Freighters Limited faced a similar charge involving the fraudulent evasion of duty amounting to Ksh21,278,592. Wamaitha and Ogutu were released on a bond of ksh4 million each with an alternative of Ksh200,000 cash bail.

The Director of the other clearing firm Rank Network Logistics limited, Mr   Eric Chweya Nyamweya, also faced two charges of a similar nature, which involved fraudulently evading a total of Kshs 3,352,043 million by using an incorrect customs duty rate. A director of the fourth clearing and forwarding firm, Rank Network Logistics also faced a similar case of allegedly being engaged in fraudulent evasion of duty amounting to Ksh1,564,993 by using an incorrect customs duty rate. They were released on a bond of Ksh1 million with an alternative cash bail of Ksh100,000.

The court fixed the hearing of all the cases on 23rd October, 2019.

Meanwhile a businesswoman, Fathiya Yasir Ebrahim appeared before the same court and was charged with importing 11 overage vehicles which are prohibited under the East African Community Customs Management Act, 2004.

The court heard that on the 30th day of October, 2018, jointly with others not before court, she imported various motor-vehicles valued at Ksh3 million , which they knew, or ought to have reasonably known to be prohibited.

She was released on a bond of Ksh1 million and a cash bail of Ksh200,000.

The hearing of her case was also fixed on 23rd October 2019.

 

Commissioner, Investigations and Enforcement Department

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