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Nyeri gets glimpse of how county officers steal revenue

KNA   by Samuel Waititu

Kenya News Agency

 

A Nyeri court was early this month treated to details of how of county revenue officers fraudulently pocket money meant for the Exchequer through manipulation of the system.

The details were unearthed in a case in which close to Sh4 million in taxes was diverted to private accounts in two years before the rip-off was unearthed.

The suspects in the case,Simon Maina, James Kagiri and James Kanyoro are face 17 counts of forgery and theft of Sh3.9 million, according to the Acting Director of Revenue, Rehema Salim, who told the court the racket started in 2016 up until July last year.

She told Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo that the scam involved printing of fake receipts that would later be issued to traders seeking renewal of licenses. The fees collected ended up in individuals’ pockets.

MsKagendo explained that the manner which the revenue officers carried out their responsibilities was against the normal procedure that required them to issue clientswith system generated bills when they pay via the bank.

They then submitted the banking slips to the revenue office to be issued with licenses.

The officer pointed that in some instances, the billing system was manipulated such that the amounts in physical receipt issued to clients would be higher than what was entered in the system.

“You would for instance find that a license of Sh 80,000 or Sh42,500 was received and receipted but the amount remitted in the system was Sh1, 000,” said Rehema.

She said the three who have so far been dismissed were charged following a forensic audit of revenue collection transactions in their area of jurisdiction, which indicated that the amounts in questions were lost through financial piddling.

County Information Communications Technology Officer Charles Mugambi said from the printouts one would easily tell who carried out what transaction and when.

However, he said he was not privy to the theft as his role was just to produce a reprint of the receipts and system logs as requested by the director of revenue.

Mugambi said each revenue officer has a secret code known only to them and they use it to access the system and carry out their respective duties. He dismissed external intrusion theory as alleged by the accused. The accused had argued that the system may have been compromised by external forces with access to the system.

The three are out on a bond of Sh1 million with sureties of similar amounts.

 


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