Several Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials are counting their losses after being forced to flush their phones down the toilets at the agency’s Times Towers building.
Insiders revealed that the raid to dismantle cartels caught many unawares, leaving them with no option but to flush their phones in an attempt to clear evidence of corruption and malpractices.
Most affected was the Data center housed on the 12th floor of the building and where regulations do not allow employees to carry their phones into the office.
On the fateful day, reports indicate that several officials had their phones inside their offices with some of them coordinating daily activities of ‘receiving bribes and instructions on how to manipulate documents’.
An employee at KRA confirmed to Nation that the rot at the agency run deep and the Friday raid was no doubt a breakthrough in dismantling the syndicate syphoning billions of shilling from Kenya’s revenue.
“At the data centre, bribes come by the minute. No import or export entry can be processed without money, which is sent and received via mobile money.
Once the money is sent or "withdrawn" through a friendly agent, a broker sends a text message to confirm and the officers then act and approve the entry,” said the insider.
Reports indicate that on a good day, some members of the syndicate could pocket Ksh500000.
Electronics and high end vehicles would be declared as agricultural inputs which does not attract tax thereby denying the taxman the much-needed revenue.
Importers would also manipulate the value and identity of their imports, working in collusion with corrupt KRA officials to escape taxes.
At least 40 employees including managers and supervisors were arrested during the sting operation which took four months to plan and execute.
Detectives, posing as interns and employees infiltrated the cartels, collecting and documenting critical evidence that was used during the arrests.