Super-rich nefarious Kenyan tycoons are hiding close to Ksh15 trillion in offshore accounts, an amount that can sustain Kenya’s budget for five years.
According to a recent report by America’s National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the tycoons use offshore accounts to hide stolen money, mostly from the government, and evade taxes.
In the report, Kenya is mentioned among the top ten countries with high offshore wealth to GDP ratios.
“Among the countries that created a lot of shell companies one finds Jordan, Russia, Taiwan, the UAE, Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Kenya,” reads the report in part.
The tycoons, of whom most are politicians have shunned the state tax amnesty to declare the money and repatriate it, which was extended by Treasury CS Henry Rotich.
Most of these tycoons and politicians have been doubtful about the government’s offer, fearing for punitive action once the wealth has been declared and brought back.
others opt to keep their wealth in offshore accounts to avoid taxation rates in Kenya, which have been termed as one of the highest in the world.
In 2015, a list of 191 individuals and 25 offshore companies linked to Kenya leaked from Mossack Fonseca legal firm in Panama. The companies and individuals held money stolen from Kenya.
Currently, Kenyans have over Ksh96 billion hidden in Swiss Banks.
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