X-TIGI Mobile is in trouble in Kenya. The Chinese budget smartphone manufacturer that operates in a number of African countries including Kenya, Egypt, Rwanda, Tanzania and eight others, has been accused of tax evasion amounting to millions of shillings.
The company’s Director, Gao Fei, has been presented in a Kenyan court and charged with failure to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) for the period between January 2015 and June 2016 valued at Kes.194,357,743. The prosecutor also states that Mr Gao Fei did not submit tax returns for the company in the year 2015.
On top of this, Gao Fei is also facing a third account of tax evasion, this time on his personal account for the year 2016.
New X-TIGI Technology Company Limited, which is the registered name of the company that sells X-TIGI smartphones and mobile accessories in Kenya has been on the spot since September 2016 as reported by TechMoran.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which accuses X-TIGI of tax evasion says that “Mr Fei has never filed returns or any taxes yet he earns income and runs a US dollar account with considerable deposits.”
“There have been regular funds transfer to a bank account in Hong Kong suspected to be income derived from the business. The director and agents of X-TIGI are Chinese nationals hence there is a high risk of them leaving the country without payment of taxes found due after the assessment or frustrating the recovery of taxes,” said Asenath Obaga, a KRA investigator.
The accused denied the claims of tax evasion and was released on a cash bail of Kes.150,000 with an additional bond of Kes.1,000,000 on top of depositing his passport in the court to reduce his flight risk. The case shall be heard on September 26th, 2019.
X-TIGI may not be one of the most popular brand names in Kenya when it comes to smartphones, but the company did make a few sales over the past few years. If X-TIGI Mobile Kenya’s director is found guilty of tax evasion, then this could spell doom for the company and its operations locally.
We’ve reached out to X-TIGI in relation to the matter and we shall update the article once we receive a response.