By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Despite the fact that Tax evasion by individuals, corporations, and trusts is illegal since it causes misrepresenting the true economic state to the tax authorities to reduce their tax liability and includes dishonest tax reporting, such as declaring less income, profits or gains than the amounts actually earned, Krystalline Salt Limited seems to be not concerned on this.
The Kenya’s Kay Salt producers are on spot for sneaking into Uganda salt branded with ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’, and as a result, they’ve not only evaded taxes and other import duties,but also caused excruciating losses to legal brands on the market as their market sales have since declined by over 60%.
It is in this regard that our investigative journalist, after being alerted by our sources at the Kenya-Uganda both Busia and Malaba borders about the act, arranged an investigative tour in different Ugandan markets, salt stores and produce sellers starting with stores with in Kampala.
Basing on his findings, it was discovered that the Krystalline Salt Limited had already earned billions of Uganda shillings through smuggling salt into Uganda, after finding the Kampala stores filled to capacity with non taxed Kenyan salt branded with ‘For Sale In Kenya only, a pure evidence that to reach into Uganda passed through smuggling channels.
The Kenya based Krystaline is also the proud manufacturer of Habari salt for East African market and beyond,but use use same channels of distribution for Kay salt which is only supposed to be sold in Kenya.
One of the markets he visited, was St Balikudembe (Owino market) in Mengo Kisenyi, Kampala, where he found several whole sale stores with huge stocks.
From St.Balikudembe market, our reporter was alerted that the salt was smuggled into Uganda via Uganda’s borders Busia and Malaba. He traveled to the mentioned borders and according to one of the traders he interacted with at Busia border who preferred anonymity, he revealed that Kay salt is smuggled in different ways. It’s smuggled through ‘panya reroutes’ by bicycle riders in small quantities and make many trips a day. Then there’re these people with disabilities with their wheel chair bicycles who carry reasonable quantities a day by making several trips, and finally big trucks who directly pass through the right paths after bribing their way.
“Yaaah! true all of us here at the border sale this salt [holds a packet in his hands], since it is smuggled, it makes it cheaper, soo…..we are earning more at least since we buy it cheaply and sale in different packages.
As if that was not satisfying, our investigator took another journey to Malaba border with Uganda to discover the possibility of how the ‘For Sale In Kenya Only’ salt enters Uganda.
It was drama at Busia border when our investigator landed on another trader who also preferred anonymity, with heavily loaded stock of the said salt, who actually revealed that he is the agent of Krystalline Salt Limited at the Busia border.
Using his investigative tactics, our reporter was also told that, the salt is not only smuggled into Uganda but also in Burundi, DR Congo and South Sudan.
This means that Kay salt is breaching Uganda Revenue Authority importing requirements that include: Import declaration, Content particulars, Suppliers invoice, Documented evidence carriage of goods, Customs value declaration, Compliance information, Good release order evidence etc.
Our Investigator is still on ground for more details….