22 May 2019

Kenya: Matiangi Deports 17 Foreigners Involved in Illegal Business Betting

Nairobi — Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has signed deportation orders for 17 foreign nationals accused of running illegal betting businesses in the country.

The announcement was made Tuesday night, two days after the Cabinet Secretary warned that no foreigner will be allowed to continue staying in the country while undertaking the betting business illegally.

"We will not allow other people to come and do unlawful business in the country. I want to tell you for free those doing this business without a valid license will be deported," warned Matiangi in a previous meeting.

Matiangi says the betting licenses will not be renewed automatically and directed the firms will have to provide a tax compliance certificate before being considered to have their licenses renewed.

The deportation comes after CS Matiangi directed the PS, State Department for Immigration, Gordon Kihalangwa to review all the business permits for foreigners doing business in the country.

Matiangi, who was speaking during a betting stakeholders' meeting, said it was worrying that over 90 per cent of betting firms are owned by foreigners who are reaping huge turn over at the expense of Kenyan youth.

"We will not allow other people to come and do unlawful business in the country. I want to tell you for free those doing this business without a valid license will be deported," warned Matiangi.

He said betting licenses won't be renewed automatically, adding that the firms will have to provide a tax compliance certificate before being considered to have their licenses renewed.

He said this was due to the frustrations betting firms are giving the Kenya Revenue Authority for evading paying taxes by obtaining court orders not to remit payments.

"We want to end this game of people running to the Judiciary to avoid paying taxes. Those who will not be tax compliant will have their firms closed down," he said.

The CS said betting firms owes KRA taxes amounting to Sh26 billion.

He however urged those firms running betting businesses legitimately to comply with the taxman's

demands and comply with the betting and gaming regulations.

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