Two businessmen charged with fraud in relation to tax have been put on their defense after being found with a case to answer.
Trial magistrate David Ndungi ruled that a prima facie case has been established against all the accused persons, Maheshkumar Batukraijani, Valani Keshra Karsani and their company, Mahesh and Tirth construction company limited.
Through their lawyer, the accused persons told the court that they will give sworn evidence and intend to call three witnesses in their defense.
The defense hearing will be on 15th january 2021.
The accused persons are charged with fraud in relation to tax by unlawfully making incorrect statements in the value added tax return thereby reducing his liability to VAT by Sh17,483,602.
The accused persons are alleged to have committed the offence on diverse dates between 20 February 2016 and 20th September 2017 jointly as directors.
They are also charged with jointly making unlawful incorrect statements in the VAT return for the period 6th March 2016 to 1st January 2017 thereby reducing his liability to VAT by Sh 7,055,595 and another and another Sh 1.7 million payable to the commissioner of Domestic tax.
The court also heard that the three also failed to remit corporation tax amounting to Sh 3,259,544 payable to the commissioner of domestic taxes for the year 2015.
The investigating officer had testified that the companies which were flagged as fictitious were registered on paper as genuine traders by the registrar of companies but in actual part they were not trading nor did they have a physical address for trading.
It is alleged that it was a scheme to assist genuine traders by issuing fictitious invoices to help genuine them (traders) to reduce taxes payable to KRA