The Anti-corruption court presided over by Her Worship Esther Asiimwe remanded Tarus Stephen Kipkyen, also a former member of Parliament in Kenya to Luzira prison for falsification of export documents and causing revenue loss to the Government of Uganda. Kipkyeny was remanded until 18th January 2024.
According to Stuart Ahebwa, URA‘s prosecutor, Kipkyeny was charged with forgery of export documents for 13kgs of gold valued at USD. 30,000 (UGX113,646,810).
The information at hand indicates that the gold was destined for Dubai, where one of the suspect’s [Kipkyeny] clients, Kostbar International, is based. Kostbar is a company that designs and manufactures jewellery exclusively for the trade.
Ahebwa also added that there is a big team behind this tax evasion scheme and so far only one person has been netted.
“It is a group and now we have only one person. The issue of them forging documents that they are working with URA also makes matters worse and it is also the reason we have arraigned Kipkyenyi in court,” Ahebwa added.
Meanwhile, according to East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA) a person who makes or uses false documents upon conviction shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding USD 10,000. This means that once Kipkyenyi is found guilty, he will be liable to these terms.
In URA, smuggling and fraud remain the top customs offences. For example, last year alone, URA recovered UGX132.77 billion through country-wide enforcement operations while UGX130.50 billion was recovered through court arbitration and UGX174.64 billion through Tax Investigations interventions.
Also, for those who are not familiar with Kenya’s politics, Stephen Tarus Kipkyeny served under President Mwai Kibaki’s administration as the Assistant Minister of Internal Security and as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Australia from 2009 to 2012.
Former Kenyan minister