Betting giant Sportpesa can now access its accounts after the High Court on Tuesday lifted a preservation order filed by the Kenya Revenu Authority (KRA).
On September 11, 2020, KRA obtained the order and accused the betting firm of tax evasion. According to KRA, Sportpesa owed them taxes amounting to Ksh14.3 billion.
The preservation order, which had affected Sportpesa's M-Pesa Paybill and Till numbers, had been extended on October 5 for 60 days for KRA to complete investigations into the fraudulent activities.
Following the order, Sportpesa could not access their accounts and neither could punters send nor withdraw money from the firm's accounts.
"We apologise to our customers over the disruption with our paybill numbers affecting deposits and withdrawals. We are giving the issue our maximum attention. The hitch arises from the provider's side who we are in consultation with, in a bid to restore services," Sportpesa updated its customers.
While making the ruling, High Court judge David Majanja stated that KRA had not furnished the betting firm with all the details while seeking the preservation order.
"This court is enjoined by Article 10 of the Constitution to observe the rule of law and insist at all times that a State Agency such as KRA comply with the letter and spirit of the law," Justice Majanja said in the ruling.
On October 30th, Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri announced the comeback of the betting firm after it halted its operations in Kenya in September 2019.
Barely hours after the announcement, the Government suspended its operations.
"We note that Milestone Games LTD has been authorised to use the trademark 'Sportpesa' by Sportpesa Global Holdings LTD whereas during the 2020/2021 financial year renewal application the board authorised the use of trading name 'Milestone Bet' to yourselves," BCLB said in its letter to the company.