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Busia Mechanic Sentenced for Pretending to be URA Officer

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On the 28th of March 2024, Odeke found himself in court facing charges. He had been assuming various roles within URA, including that of Commissioner General, Commissioner Tax Investigations, and Supervisor Customs. Under these false pretenses, he conducted compliance checks at supermarkets and wholesale shops in Busia.

During these visits, Odeke intimidated the business owners, threatening to shut down their establishments if they didn’t pay fines for alleged non-compliance with the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS). Fearing the consequences, each victim handed over UGX. 1,350,000 to avoid closure of their businesses.

Appearing before His Worship, Opit Christopher, on a Friday, Odeke admitted guilt and was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison.

He faced multiple charges, including two counts of impersonating a tax officer, as per Section 63(6) of the Tax Procedures Code Act, one count of assuming a false character of an Officer, as per Section 198(c) of the East African Community Customs Management Act, and one count of obtaining money by false pretense, as per Section 305 of the Penal Code Act.

During sentencing, the court considered the damage caused to URA’s reputation and the integrity of the tax officers impersonated by Odeke. The prosecution, led by Diana Prida, emphasized the need to deter such actions as they strain the relationship between taxpayers and URA, ultimately impacting tax compliance in the long run.

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