Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has adjusted upwards the Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons (DWS) Limited alleged tax evasion figure to about K16.5 billion from the initial K10.8 billion and added three more suspects.
Th e amendmen t s filed in court show that several counts have been revised with most of the monetary values going up.
In the first count where the textile company’s executives are accused of evading payment of custom duty by allegedly importing ready-made and ready-for-consumption fabrics and twine disguised as duty-free raw materials under industrial rebate, the amount has been revised from K2 billion to about K4 billion.
In count eight where the company’s officials were charged with omitting from inclusion in returns of income from 2016 to 2019 about K16.2 billion, thereby defrauding Malawi Government about K4.8 billion in corporate tax and interests, the amounts have also been revised upwards.
The amendments have also seen three more suspects being added to the case, bringing the number to 11 from eight. The trio, identified as Mapeto DWS Limited
directors, are Zarina Latif, Kamplesh Raichand and Dilip Pancherywala.
In aninterview yesterday, MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma confirmed that the authority has amended its charge sheet against Mapeto DWS Limited.
H e said the amendments were filed at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court on Friday and that the defence was also served on the same day.
Kapoloma said MRA found new information in the course of i t s ongoing investigations; hence, the revision of the charge sheet.
He said: “It is part of the investigation. As you are aware, the investigations are ongoing, therefore, any new information that we are stepping on, we are using it for this case.”
In a separate interview, one of the lawyer s representing Mapeto DWS Limited officials Jai Banda confirmed being served with the amended charged sheet.
On May 23, MRA pounced on Mapeto DWS Limited and arrested five senior officials for multiple cases of alleged tax evasion which then was estimated at K10.8 billion.
Kapoloma is on record as having said the arrest of the Mapeto DWS officials followed investigations the public tax collector carried out at the company for six weeks which established three cases of alleged tax evasion.
The suspects also include two MRA customs officers.