Kenya: Man in Tax Evasion Case Faints After Sh20 Million Bond Shocker

12 December 2019

A Pakistani businessman charged with denying the government Sh126 million in revenue fainted in court after being slapped with a Sh20 million bond.

Nabeel Hussain Qureshi, who was charged alongside Salman Ahmed Rizvi, fainted pleaded with the court for leniency.

"I am only 23 years old. I have been in Kenya for less than a year. The company owners are in Japan. Please help me," he pleaded with the court orderlies and his co-accused.

The suspect fainted as the orderlies tried to push him to the cells.

WATER

A court clerk and the orderlies helped him up after water was poured on him as he lay helplessly on his back.

He was then escorted to the cells as his colleague followed up to ensure the bond was processed.

Mr Qureshi and Mr Rizvi, who are directors of a company dealing in importation and sale of motor vehicles, are accused of engaging in fraudulent tax evasion scheme leading to the loss millions of shillings in revenue.

The suspects are charged that between January 2013 and December 2018, they evaded paying taxes by declaring nil returns in some months and declaring low income from the sale of the motor vehicles.

TAX LIABILITY

According to the charge sheet, the suspects, being directors of Ameen Motors Ltd, while earning taxable income, jointly with others not in court, unlawfully made incorrect statements in the company's income tax returns for 2014, which reduced their corporate tax liability by Sh32.1 million.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says the suspects and their company committed the offence on diverse dates between August 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015.

In other charges, the suspects are accused of unlawfully making an incorrect statement reducing the company's tax liability by Sh43.7million on diverse dates between August 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016.

Between August 1, 2016 and January 31, 2017, the suspects are accused of fraudulently making an incorrect statement thus reducing the company's tax liability by Sh32.2 million.

INCORRECT STATEMENT

Mr Qureshi and Mr Rizvi are additionally accused of denying the government Sh19.6 million in revenue when they made an incorrect statement that negatively affected the company's tax liability.

The court has been told that investigations by KRA have revealed that between January 2013 and December 2018, the company imported 599 motor vehicles worth Sh217 million and sold them for Sh658 million but only declared Sh33million.

KRA also alleges the directors of the company tactically avoided paying taxes by forming and abandoning companies whenever they accumulated tax liability.

LENGTHY INVESTIGATIONS

The taxman said that the suspects were arrested following lengthy investigations carried out by its Investigation and Enforcement Department on the suspected tax fraud schemes.

The suspects denied the charges when they appeared before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti.

They were granted Sh20 million bond each with one surety of the same amount.

The case will be mentioned on December 17.

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