Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has said the amount in the tax evasion case involving Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons (DWS) will increase further from the amended K16.4 billion to about K32 billion when penalties and interests are included.
One of the laywers representing MRA, Anthony Chungu, said this yesterday when the court reconvened before the chief resident magistrate (South) Jean Kayira at the High Court premises in Blantyre.
He told the court that the amended charge sheet, which saw the upward revision of the principle amount from the initial K10.8 billion to about K16.5 billion, did not include penalties and interests.
Said Chungu: “Total figures have adjusted from about K10 billion to about K16.4 billion, without penalties and interest as required by the various charging revenue laws. With interest, the figures are coming to around K32 billion.”
He further told the court that the amendment to the charge sheet, which has also seen the inclusion of three more Mapeto DWS directors, bringing the number of accused persons to 11, follows the discovery of the full list of the company’s directors and an analysis of the textile company’s documents.
Chungu added that the three new accused persons, namely Zarina Latif, Kamplesh Raichand and Dilip Pancherywala have not been summoned for questioning and are expected to be questioned on July 7.
Out of the three new accused persons, only Latif appeared in court as the other two were reported to be outside the country.
Kayira then read all the amended counts levelled against Latif.
But responding to the inclusion of the three, lawyer representing Mapeto DWS executives Jai Banda told the court that Raichand, the third accused and Pancherywala, who is the fourth accused, are no longer part of the company.
He said: “The other two directors who are mentioned are outside the jurisdiction. They left the jurisdiction some years ago and they are no longer part of the company.”
But in response, Chungu argued that at the time the alleged offences were committed, the two were contributing to the company; hence, their inclusion.
After hearing arguments from both the State and defence, Kayira gave directions on how the case will proceed.
She directed that the State should file the disclosures and serve the defence on July 9 and that the defence should file its arguments on July 23 before the State files its response on the defence’s arguments on August 6 2021.
Kayira said the court will make its ruling on the amended charge sheet on August 31, while fresh plea taking on the amended charge sheet will be on September 10, before the five-day hearing, which will run from September 20 to 24.