Economy

KRA set to auction Kimwarer firm in Itare dam row

times-tower

An Italian firm at the centre of the row over the Sh63 billion Arror-Kimwarer dams scandal risks a fresh blow after the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) threatened to auction its equipment and machinery held at the Mombasa port.

A notice released by the taxman on Friday showed that CMC Di Ravenna is among scores of companies that risked losing their imported goods lying at a customs warehouse in Kilindini if not cleared and collected by next month.

“Pursuant to the provisions of section 42 of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004, notice is given that unless the under-mentioned goods are entered and removed from the Customs Woodlouse, ICDE within 30 days from the date of this notice, they will be sold by public auction on May 18,” said KRA on Friday.

CMC Di Ravenna shipped in the equipment in 2018 for its dam construction projects but financial woes have seen the firm fail to clear the equipment sparking KRA’s move.

The multi-million equipment includes dump stations that are used for the safe disposal of raw sewage and muck cars used for tunnelling.

KRA did not disclose the amount it is seeking to recover through the auction set for mid-next-month as pressure mounts on the Italian firm that is locked in fights with a lender that is seeking to auction its cars over defaulted loans.

The taxman’s push to auction the equipment comes a week after the Italian company lost the first round of attempts to block Absa Kenya’s bid to sell 98 cars over a Sh585 million loan.

The court upheld a consent agreed between CMC and Absa to freeze the transfer of the cars pending the outcome of a suit in which the bank is seeking to auction the vehicles over a Sh585 million loan advanced to the Italian firm in 2017.

Absa said the Italian company approached it in 2017 and 2018 for various financial facilities, including asset financing, short-term loan/overdrafts, working capital and bank guarantees.

Last year, the court allowed KRA to seize more than 100 vehicles belonging to the Italian firm over tax evasion claims.

CMC Di Ravenna has been in the eye of the storm over its role in the botched construction of the multi-billion Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet.