How rogue Kenya Revenue Authority officers are making a killing at Mombasa port sneaking in goods and costing the state corporation $1 billion in just 6 months

Port of Mombasa
  • In August last year, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti revealed that Kenya Revenue Authority lost Sh 100 billion ($1 million) in a short span of six months.
  • KRA managers are accused of being in collusion with a top Somali smuggler based in Nairobi and Bondeni in Mombasa to sneak out containers with an expensive assortment of cargo without paying taxes.
  • Sources at the port say that for each container that moves out of the port without paying tax or scanned KRA officials are paid Sh 1 million ($10,000).

In August last year, Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti revealed that Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) lost Sh 100 billion ($1 million) in a short period of six months.

In his whirlwind tour, Kinoti and a team of eight sleuths grilled KRA officials at the port of Mombasa which led to the arrest and prosecution of 30 KRA officials over the import of contraband.

In Mombasa KRA officials Vivian Moraa, Rioba, Monica Kiarie, and Stephen Ochieng Onditi are faced with charges of allowing the clearance of controversial 10,000 tons of imported sugar which had been declared substandard.

They have denied that between June 29 and July 2018 they unlawfully authorised the release of bad sugar to Flora Bakers.

In November last year, Kenya Ports Authority officials revealed that some 124 containers which were sneaked from the port two years ago were released to importers without the signature of customs officials.

KPA security officer Kibet Kirui told Mombasa Senior Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia that he generated position slip documents and gate passes for the release of the containers after seeing unsigned custom rubber stamp.

KRA managers working in cahoots with top Somali smuggler

Moral mudslinging has stifled planned recruitment of Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) former chief manager port operations who was abruptly transferred to Kakamega.

Mr Joseph Kaguru was moved amid claims of theft and corruption by some KRA officials working in cohort with unscrupulous traders to sneak out substandard goods.

As the lobbying intensifies for the lucrative KRA Chief Manager for Port Operations, fresh allegations of corruption and sexual exploitation are swirling at KRA’s Southern Region office.

The current acting KRA port boss Abdi Malik Hussein is on the spot as claims over the alleged rise in cases of theft of containers and illegal importation high-end vehicles illegally imported into the country increase.

Estimates reveal KRA has lost Sh 500 million ($5 million) since Mr Kaguru’s transfer. It is not yet clear, however, if the loss is connected to change in management.

An irascible but media-shy Malik was recently grilled by his bosses over dropping revenue collection at the port with reports indicating KRA collection at the port was at its lowest levels.

Before Kaguru’s transfer, KPA reports revealed that it collected Sh 40 million ($400,000) a day but sources at the port say the figure has since dropped to paltry Sh 20 million ($200,000).

KRA managers are accused of being in collusion with a top Somali smuggler based in Nairobi and Bondeni in Mombasa to sneak out containers with an expensive assortment of cargo without paying taxes.

Sources at the port say that for each container that moves out of the port without paying tax or scanned KRA officials are paid Sh.1 million. It is estimated that 6 containers are smuggled out of the port every day.

Some of the firms being accused of smuggling containers from the port are Bildad & Muzdalifa.

How the heist is orchestrated

In order to carry out this heist, the manager orders the KRA Scanner office to substitute images of dirty containers showing only matatus inside. He threatens officers with transfers if they don’t follow his orders.

The manager is said to brag to be very close to Customs Commissioner in public as his classmate and his point man in Mombasa.

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