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BY CORRESPONDENT,NAIROBI,26TH OCT 2020-Two suspects were today charged before Kapenguria Principal Magistrate Samuel Mutai for allegedly smuggling 160 bags of 50kg of sugar across Uganda-Kenya border.
The customs value of the sugar is Kshs 530,720 with a tax implication of Kshs 705,859 since the consignment did not have a certificate of origin from the East African Community the applicable import duty is 100% and VAT at 14%.
The accused, Martin Siwotoi and Sammy Gachau Maina were both charged with two counts of acquiring uncustomed goods contrary to section 200 (d)
(iii) of the East African Community Management Act 2004 and Conveying uncustomed goods contrary to section 199(b) (iii) of the East African Community and Customs Management Act 2004. They denied the charges and were released on a bond of Kshs. 50,000 or cash bail of Kshs. 25,000. The case will be heard on 16th November, 2020.
The arraignment followed lengthy investigations carried out by KRA’s Investigation and Enforcement Department in conjunction with officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Kapenguria who while on patrol, intercepted a vehicle ferrying brown sugar from Uganda without importation licence and certificate from the sugar directorate under Agriculture and Food Authority as required by law. The licences and permit form part of the documentation to be presented to customs Officers at the time of importation for clearance and payment of requisite customs duty.
Unscrupulous importers who do not have the requisite license smuggle sugar from Uganda using ungazetted border points such as Karita and Lokiriama to avoid the rigors of customs processes at designated border points with Uganda namely Busia, Lwakhakha, Malaba and Swam.
The sugar is distributed to shopkeepers within Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Lodwar Counties. This leads to loss of revenue to the Government and unfair trade practices in the region.