Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has revealed that it has been losing revenue from goods disguised as other goods that attract lesser taxes.
In the most shocking of the incidences that point to human trafficking, KRA scanners recently found items in bags inside a cargo container and a stowaway wedged in between the tyres that had been declared as Robusta coffee on transit.
In another incident, two stowaways were found at the Busia border point being smuggled inside cartons loaded on a truck.
In an instance of open tax evasion, two Range Rovers and a Mercedes Benz worth an approximate Ksh14 million in taxes and wrongfully declared as household goods were nabbed after KRA scanners were involved.
And now international vehicle theft syndicates appear to be in trouble too after KRA scanners nabbed two Range Rover vehicles suspected to have been stolen from the United Kingdom as the syndicate tried to smuggle them into Kenya declared as one Vauxhall Insignia and one Nissan Juke, expecting to avoid net payment of about Ksh10 million in tax revenues to due to KRA.
The Range Rover seems to be a smuggling vehicle of choice because yet in another instance, a Range Rover and a mattress were discovered by KRA scanners after they were declared as window frames, doors, folding chairs, stools and wall pictures.
KRA also nabbed one hundred and forty four concealed drums of ethanol worth Ksh12 million in taxes having been declared as cement in two by twenty foot containers.
Moreover, KRA arrested a potential situation of revenue loss up to the tune of Ksh24 million in taxes when two hundred and eighty eight concealed drums of ethanol were declared by an importer as spaghetti in four twenty foot containers.
The details emerged during a visit of the KRA headquarters Integrated Scanner Command Centre by The World Customs Organisation (WCO) Secretary-General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya who lauded the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) for the various tax administration and modernization measures it has put in place to facilitate trade.
KRA has implemented an advanced integrated scanner strategy focusing on non- intrusive cargo inspection, seven One-Stop Border Points (OSBPs) and activated a web-based Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) – state-of-the-art technology for monitoring the movement of cargo along the Northern Corridor.
“I am happy with the initiatives that KRA has implemented to enhance efficiency in the management of cargo. These cargo management solutions are critical in facilitating trade across the region and to the world,” said Dr. Mikuriya.
The ultramodern scanners and the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS have enhanced cargo security and safety at key points of entry as well improved the turnaround time for cargo clearance. The use of the scanners has reduced the need for the cumbersome physical inspection at the points of entry.
“The modernization efforts within the Customs and Border Control Department has enhanced efficiency in customs management, playing a pivotal role in fostering economic competitiveness, revenue collection and protection of society from illicit trade as well as wrongful declaration of cargo,” said Mr. Kevin Safari , KRA Commissioner for Customs and Border Control.
“The system offers real time scanning and inspection. This has ensured 90 percent of cargo is checked and has reduced incidents of cargo diversion,” said Commissioner Safari.
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