Two Charged for Trading in Contraband Cigarettes

Two Charged for Trading in Contraband Cigarettes

Two people have been charged at Nakuru Law court for being in possession of contraband cigarettes and counterfeit Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Excise stamps.

The suspects, John Gitau Kamau and Benson Kamau Mburu were arraigned before Principal Magistrate Isaac Orenge to answer to three counts of charges.

The charges are that of being in possession of; uncustomed goods, excisable goods affixed with counterfeit Excise stamps and being in possession of counterfeit Excise stamps in contravention of the provisions of Customs Laws and Excise Duty Act of 2015.

The duo were arrested on 13th August 2021 at Lanet area within Nakuru County after being found with Supermatch cigarettes affixed with counterfeit Excise stamps and being in possession of uncustomed Supermatch cigarettes with a dutiable value of KShs. 146,980.

They denied all the counts and were each released on a bond of KShs. 100,000. The case will be heard on 21st September 2021.

In the recent past, some of the Taxpayers have resorted to affixing counterfeit Excise stamps on excisable goods such as bottled drinking water, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes with a view of evading payment of excise duty and smuggling of uncustomed goods through porous borders to avoid paying custom duties.

This act of dealing with uncustomed goods and counterfeit KRA Excise stamps is a deliberate fraud scheme to defraud the Authority of Customs duties. These forms of tax evasion deny the government the much needed revenue to facilitate its service delivery. It is for this reason that KRA has embarked on a full scale investigations and prosecutions of tax evasion or gross negligence involving all Acts of Parliament administered by KRA in order to promote voluntary tax compliance.

The accused persons are liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine equal to fifty percent of the dutiable value of the uncustomed goods involved, or both if convicted.