Kampala – Tarus Stephen Kipkiyeny, a former Assistant Minister of Internal Security Minister under President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, has been arrested and charged in the Anti-Corruption Court in Kampala for falsifying URA customs documents in a gold smuggling scam.
On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, he was remanded to Luzira Maximum Prison on charges of gold smuggling. His actions are contrary to Section 203(b) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2003, as amended.
Stewart Aheebwa, the State Attorney representing URA in the case, says that the charges against Mr. Kipkiyeny are forgery of export documents purporting that there is gold worth about 13 kg within the premises of URA, whereas there is not.
He further said that it is a cartel involving many people, but currently he is the only one who is in custody, with the others still at large, though police are hunting for them.
It is alleged that the suspect received about USD 1 million from the intended buyer, but more investigations are ongoing to find out whether there was any form of connivance with officials from the Customs Department who issued him the forged documents.
This publication has also seen a forged URA receipt, which shows that the suspect paid USD 30,004 on January 6, 2024, for storage of the gold, whereas he did not.
Counsel further explained that there is no actual gold in the URA warehouse. “They gave the impression that the gold was in the URA warehouse, but it was just a scheme to defraud another Kenyan national whose identity I will not reveal right now,” he said.
Upon sentence, the suspect is likely to be imprisoned for a period of three years or pay a fine of USD10,000 for the one count that he is currently being charged with, but when more counts come up during the course of the investigation, the suspect could be charged for every document that he forged, which is six in total.
The matter has been fixed for mention on January 18th, whereby the suspect intends to apply for bail before Grade One Magistrate Esther Asiimwe at 10 a.m. in the Anti-Corruption Court.