Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) yesterday said it will engage an agent to recover the K20 million that an Indian investor, who was deported on Friday, owes the public tax collector.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services on Friday deported Chandrashaker More, but MRA spokesperson Steven Kapoloma yesterday told Nation on Sunday the tax collecting body had nothing to do with the More’s deportation.
Kapoloma, who is corporate Affairs director, said More is alleged to have evaded K20 million and despite his deportation, MRA will use lawful ways to recover the money.
He said they could consider appointing an agent such as a bank to recover the money on MRA’s behalf. “From the look of things, it seems he has money within Malawi,” Kapoloma said.
But the deportee’s lawyer, Justin Dzonzi, in an interview claimed his client had all the documents to prove that he paid the money MRA was demanding from him, alleging that MRA had a hand in the deportation.
He claimed that documented facts at the High Court’s commercial division in Lilongwe would show the wrangle emanates from business interests in a Lilongwe-based company he coowns.
But Dzonzi said upon his client’s arrest on Wednesday when they had gone to the magistrate court in Lilongwe for the matter, he was shocked to learnt that MRA had earlier applied for revocation of his client’s bail which was granted and there was also a warrant of arrest in place.
He said there were some arguments in court, but they left the courtroom with no direction as to what was going to happen. Dzonzi said police pounced on his client outside the court, using the warrant of arrest MRA obtained earlier, but his client was later handed to Immigration, a thing he said raised eyebrows.
Dzonzi said: “I appeared before Justice [Esmie] Chombo on May 11 (Thursday) and applied a stay order against the arrest, which was granted.
“But a blame game started here, when I wanted to serve the stay order on MRA, they refused service and referred me to Immigration, and when I went to Immigration to serve, they too refused service, arguing it was an MRA matter. Police also refused to be served. When I returned to Immigration, I was shocked to learn that Mr More was being taken to the airport [Kamuzu International Airport]. I spoke to him briefly over the phone before his deportation to India.”
The lawyer said he was yet to talk to him on a way forward, adding his client, who came in Malawi around 20005/6, has big investments in Malawi.
He said More, who was on court bail on the tax evasion matter, left for India in 2015 after the court allowed him to travel. He said he fell sick while there and his business permit expired in October 2015, meaning he could not have returned without applying for one.
“He arrived in the country in February this year 2017 and on March 30, he went to court to explain why he could not have returned in time. The court set the matter for April 19 but matter did not take place, for some reasons, until May 10, leading to the current situation,” Dzonzi said.