by Beti Gebeyehu / 1,594 Views
by Beti Gebeyehu / 1,453 Views
With allegations of tax evasion surrounding him, Kemer Yousuf will have his day in court; if he fails to show up again, contempt may be added
The Federal High Court has sent out a public domain call for Kemer Yousuf the renowned Oromiffa singer, after the Ethiopian Revenues & Customs Authority claimed that it could not find the singer at his registered residence.
However, the singer is protesting the claim.
“This is done deliberately,” Kemer said. “I lived in the same residence for the last four years in Bole district, Wereda 6, Kebele 12/13 Ho.No 419/2.”
The call, published in the state-owned daily newspaper March 17, refers to a civil suit brought against Kemer Yousuf and Berhan Insurance S.C. as joint defendants. However, in that case Kemer’s address is registered as Nifas Silk District, Kebele 57.
His wife, the renowned athlete Ejigayehu Dibaba on March 23, told Fortune that neither she nor her husband knew anything about this issue and it the first time they are being informed of the case.
Despite the couple’s claim that the issue is new to them, the case was tabled for the Sixth Bench of the Federal High Court in September 2015.
The substantial allegation is that the singer evaded paying 2.4 million Br worth of tax. The series of events behind the unpaid tax according to the charge, began with the singer importing a four wheel Toyota Land Cruiser later bearing plate number 3-69457, free of duty in 2012. The duty free privilege was extended to him as General Manager and owner of Kemer Yousuf Tour & Travel Plc. The vehicle is now in possession of a third party without any of the formal procedures that needed to be fulfilled for a transfer, including informing the relevant authorities.
Article 15 of Regulation No. 270/2012 states that it is only upon payment of appropriate Customs duty that one can transfer the vehicle to people having no similar duty free privileges.
In such cases where vehicles imported duty free are transferred to third parties, in the country’s law serious measures such as confiscation of the property, payment of the tax and criminal charges might follow.
In 2007/08, the immediate aftermath of the issuance of the said regulation, the tax Authority managed to confiscate over 2000 duty-free imported vehicles from third parties. The framework is still operational that anyone who provides a tip off on a case, would receive a percentage of the money paid for tax.