US citizen, KRA employee charged over tax evasion

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An American citizen has been charged alongside an employee of Kenya Revenue Authority and another with several counts relating to tax evasion.

Patel Devan Harshad (American), Mark Mwangi (KRA) and Joseph Mwendia are accuse of knowingly and fraudulently conspiring to facilitate the evasion of duty amounting to Sh 6,744,911 payable to the Commissioner of customs and border control in contravention of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004.

The three are alleged to have committed the offence on or about 24th June this year jointly with others not before court.

The accused persons face an alternative charge of concerning themselves with fraudulent evasion of payment of custom duty by facilitating release of 25 cartons of tobacco occasioning duty loss of the above amount.

In the second count, the three are charged with making a false declaration to wit customs manifest via airway bill No. 157-53396884 without payment of the above duty amount.

Lastly, the accused persons are facing a charge of smuggling goods to wit the 25 cartons of tobacco at Signon Shades located at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Harshad and Mwangi denied the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Helen Onkwani. Mwendia did not plead to the charges since he was not produced in court for plea taking.

The prosecution objected the release of Harshad on bail on grounds that he is at flight risk since he is a foreigner and his place of abode if not known by the police.

However his lawyer urged the court to grant him favourable bail or bond terms claiming that he is not at flight risk and was ready to deposit his passport in court.
The magistrate will rule on the bail on 2nd July after the Harshad deposits his passport in court.