KRA moves to freeze 13 accounts linked to billionaire Mary Wambui

KRA says Mungai received a total of Sh9.88 billion through her firm.

Billionaire Mary Wambui Mungai (r), Purity Njoki Mungai (c), and LSK President Nelson Havi at the Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, December 9, 2021

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has moved to court to obtain freeze orders against bank accounts belonging to businesswoman Mary Wambui Mungai and her daughter Purity Njoki.

KRA filed a petition at the high court to freeze 13 accounts in Equity, Stanbic, Credit Bank, Family and KCB.

Seven of the accounts are registered in Mungai’s name and six are registered in the name of their company Purma Holdings Limited.

KRA has charged the two with tax evasion, telling the courts that the suspects owe Sh2.5 billion in taxes between 2014 and 2019.

The authority said that the two supplied various services to government institutions and declared wrong income to evade taxes.

I traced the payments to the bank accounts but the first interested party (Purma Holdings) and its directors being second and third interested parties never fully declared payments for both tax and VAT (value-added tax) purposes during the period under review,” reads an affidavit by a KRA investigator.

Ms Mungai received a total of Sh9.88 billion through her firm during the time in question, according to the taxman, but this was not represented in the iTax ledger.

According to court papers, the firm earned Sh7.65 billion in revenue but only declared Sh1.9 billion, depriving the taxman Sh1.93 billion.

In another case, Purma made Sh7.66 billion in supplies but declared Sh281 million, denying KRA Sh597 million.

The amounts held by aforesaid respondents banks be preserved pending the issuance of tax assessments and recovery of taxes or until further court orders of the court,” KRA petitioned the court.

The pursuit of the billionaire is part of KRA’s revenue enhancement initiatives as the taxman tries to meet its Sh6 trillion revenue target by 2024.

In the just-ended financial year, 2020/21, the enhanced recovery of tax arrears helped collect Sh93.7 billion from companies.

KRA also continues to leverage technology to enhance efficiency in revenue collection. With enhanced operational efficiency, the authority is optimistic that the landscape of revenue mobilisation and collection in this country will be completely changed.

Fire arm charges

Other than tax evasion, Ms Mungai was also charged with illegal possession of a firearm in December 2021.

She was arrested and detained at Muthaiga Police Station before being arraigned at Milimani Law Courts.

Her firearm ID which was seized by detectives was recovered at Weston Hotel along with her ID, bank cards and a temporary travel permit to Zambia.

The documents were discovered after the businesswoman fled the hotel when police raided it on Wednesday, December 8.

The warrant of arrest was issued against Mary and her daughter Purity after efforts by DCI to reach them hit a dead end.

Mungai was a member of the Friends of Jubilee Foundation, a lobby group that supported President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s re-election in 2017.

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