FOUR KRA staff blacklisted among those abetting tax evasion have lost a bid for anticipatory bail and instead ordered to present themselves to the DCI for profiling.
Moses Mbogo Mirugi, Charity Njoki Kinyua, Felix Ndambuki Kimeu and Purity Nkirote Muthamia had gone underground when their 38 colleagues now detained of two weeks were taken to court, but had lodged a Miscellaneous Criminal application at Justice Luka Kimaru’s court seeking anticipatory bail.
They will not only be dealing with the case at hand but in also an adverse twist and mention of attempting to interfere with investigations.
“They have been interfering with the on-going active investigations and possibility of them having disposed off their electronic gadgets is high,” state prosecutor Duncan Ondimu said.
He said the four and other associates on May 10 2019 at around 23.20 hours formed a Social media platform(Telegram) group for the sole purpose of interfering with the on going investigations.
A print out of copies of the cats has been provided to the court in order not to jeopardise on going investigations.
“Among the discussions in the Chat group is how to sabotage operations of KRA and hence to an extent interfere with the on going probe,” Ondimu said.
Some of the employees have used pseudo names while some have so far been confirmed to be members of the chart group which is actively inciting staff at the critical revenue body.
Ondimu said his team of investigators so far obtained a court order to obtain subscriber details, data history, and call records for the period July 1 2017 to may 9 2019.
“The investigations are complex and require detailed analysis in respect to over 178 mobile phone numbers and Mpesa statements,” the prosecutor said.
He said investigators have obtained also a court order allowing access to KRA computers which include Itax, Legacy among others.
“We require to ensure that all the digital footprints the applicants herein and other associates, some already in custody, who are at large and its is important for them to urgently report before the investigators to enable detailed criminal inquiries,” Ondimu told justice Kimaru.
The judge concurred, telling the suspects lawyer John Swaka that prosecution is constitutional and the constitution gives the police power to investigate crimes.
Justice Kimaru directed that the suspects appear before the DCI by 1.00pm on May 15 5 2019.
The DCI opened and inquiry in relation to the commission of several criminal offences which include abuse of office, neglect of official duty, money laundering, tax avoidance and failure to pay taxes, in which KRA big fishes are targeted “stating with the smaller ones.”
Thirty eight employees of KRA were arrested and taken to court on May 10 2019 and are detained to help with investigations.
The four suspects herein upon learning of the arrest of their colleagues went into hiding and absconded duty and have been interfering with investigations, the trial court heard.