KRA officials to start wearing body cameras to curb tax cheats

KRA officials to start wearing body cameras to curb tax cheats

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials will start wearing body cameras in a bid to tame tax cheats and bribery.

According to Commissioner-General Githii Mburu, the body cams will be for officers mainly stationed but not limited tot custom borders and domestic tax departments.

“Very soon we will also be ensuring our enforcement officers have body-worn cameras, like the ones you see in the US, so that any action they take is recorded and we can see it. When you put it off, we will also have to understand why you do it,” said Mburu during an interview with Business Daily.

Body cameras are typically worn on the torso of the body of the officer’s uniform.

Cameras will be rolled out beginning with big-ticket places like border points, Mombasa Port, the Inland Container Depot and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

The taxman also plans to improve surveillance on premises producing excisable products such as alcoholic drinks by accessing real-time CCTV feed from factory floors to monitor the movement of products.

Sensors will also be installed in storage tanks to monitor the usage of raw materials which will inform the volume of finished products, in a bid to fight tax evasion by brewers.

“This is so that as you engage out there, you do not get involved in activities that will compromise our objectives. We have to employ risk management where our risks are highest, so they will be more for our officers at border points where things are moving in and out and all our custom areas,” Mr. Mburu added.

KRA staff have in the recent past been accused of helping to fraudulently clear cargo and alter tax returns to help people dodge duty payments.

An estimated Ksh.12 billion is lost every year from excise tax evasion alone.

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Lawrence Baraza is a prolific writer with competencies in Digital Media, Print, and Broadcast. Baraza is also a Communication Practitioner currently spearheading Digital content on Metropol TV's Digital Desk.

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