KRA Managers, supervisors arrested in sting operation over multi-billion scandal

41 arrested, several others on the run

File image of CS Fred Matiangi with KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini

At least 41 senior employees at enya Revenue Authority (KRA) including a manager and several supervisors have been arrested in a sting operation involving a multi-billion shilling tax evasion racket.

Reports indicate that more than 40 senior employees including one senior manager, tens of supervisors and their juniors senior staff were arrested on Friday, bringing an end to a vicious and well-connected cartel at the authority.

The development has seen panic sweep through the agency’s offices with reports indicating that several others are on the run and remain on the radar of security agencies.

Most of those arrested are attached to the customs and domestic tax departments and are currently in police custody.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti confirmed the arrests that came just a day after outgoing commissioner General John Njiraini's official retirement from the authority.

“Following the KRA operation, out of a target of 75 suspects, 41 have been arrested, phones and other electronic gadgets they used to commit fraud and theft confiscated, servers linked to their communication seized for forensic analysis,” Kinoti said.

Kinoti added that “More arrests and recovery are anticipated” in the operation that could see atleast a hundred employees arrested.

“Investigations into the rackets have been in progress for the last four months, with covert assistance provided by national law enforcement agencies to help in trailing money and communication,” said Njiraini. 

Eye witnesses reveal that detectives raided KRA offices at Times Towers on Friday morning, sweeping through one floor to he next and arresting the individuals.

The Standard quoted a KRA employee confirming that “they were also carrying away computer CPUs as well as their phones,” a KRA employee said.

Billions lost in revenue

The investigations began four months ago amidst concerns that cartels operating at the authority were siphoning billions of revenue from public coffers.

“A number of KRA staff have been colluding with certain tax payers in a criminal enterprise to evade payments of taxes or reduce liability, I direct the DCI to immediately launch investigations of both KRA staff and their co- conspirators,” Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji said in a statement.

“The criminal scheme has over a period of time occasioned a reduction in tax collection by KRA.” He added.

A team was hurriedly assembled and deployed to the authority, operating discreetly as employees of the agency and gathering intelligence that led to the arrests.

It is so far the largest and perhaps the most successful raid at a state agencies as the purge against graft gathers momentum.

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