The saga of tax evasion at oil manufacturer BIDCO has sucked in Trans Nzoia Senator Henry ole Ndiema.
The Thika-based firm is being investigated by Parliament over alleged tax evasion spurning over ten years.
Documents obtained by TBI show that BIDCO was first informed of violating tax regulations in 1995.
The Ministry of Finance wrote to Bidco’s CEO Vimal Shah informing them that the firm was importing finished products in the guise of raw materials for processing.
In essence, the firm was getting tax exemption as provided by Legal Notice No 46 of June 10, 1993. For violating the regulations, the deal had to be stopped.
But a Wheeler dealer Vimal shopped around and got Ndiema, then working at the Ministry, who signed the firm’s next shipment. On 26th September 1995 – fourteen days later, Ndiema signed customs exemption form for the firm.
Some quarters have questioned the speed at which the exemption was signed, within a day.
The firm is also accused of engaging in multiple tax minimisation schemes.
The oil maker also has a history of tax avoidance. Several cases pending in court show that Bidco has several long-running disputes with the KRA.
In 2008, the agency assessed the company’s imports duty bill and established that it was in arrears of Sh704mn.
In 2009, the KRA added an additional Sh702mn. Bidco ignored the KRA’s payment demands and instead has fought the agency in court.
The amount due is now more than Sh5 billion.