Businessman charged with evading customs duty on 34 containers

Workers offload sacks of fertiliser at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Workers offload sacks of fertiliser at the port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A businessman was Monday charged before a Mombasa court with evading customs duty on 34 containers carrying goods worth millions of shillings.

The court heard that the alleged fraudulent release of the containers from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) caused revenue loss of Sh15 million to the government.

Yussuf Abdi Hussein also faced an alternative charge of fraudulently facilitating the release of 34 containers without paying customs duty.

Particulars of the charges are that he committed the offences jointly with others not before court between May 1 and August 3 last year at Kilindini port.

The suspect, who was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Evans Makori, pleaded not guilty to the two charges.

Through lawyer Boaz Adala, Mr Yussuf applied that he be released on bond with an alternative of cash bail. Mr Adala told the court that his client needed to be supplied with witness statements in order adequately prepare his defence.

The lawyer further urged the court to consider releasing his client on Sh500,000 surety bond with an alternative cash bail of Sh100,000.

The court also heard that several suspects have been arrested in relation to the alleged scam and have pending cases before another court.

“This matter is related to one pending before your brother Hon Kyambia and we do apply that the accused person be release on the same bond terms granted to suspects in that matter,” added Mr Adala.

Prosecuting Counsel Sarah Ogweno said she has no objection to the accused being released on bond.

In his ruling, the chief magistrate directed that Mr Yussuf be released on Sh3 million bond with a surety of similar amount and alternative cash bail of Sh1 million.