Shabir Gani, director of Victoria Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited has been reported to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate possible leads of corruption for his evasion of customs duty evasion totaling millions.
Gani had applied to government during the Peoples Party administration for duty free status of importation of two commercial vehicles- a pick-up and a saloon. The application was refused on the grounds that it was economic transgressions.
But Gani re-applied when Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power in 2014 and it was approved.
Instead of importing two commercial vehicles, Gani cleared for duty free a Mercedes Benz chasis number WDD2173772A00718 and a 4X4 vehicle.
According to Malawi Revenue Commission (MRA) correspondence to Gani – a letter which Nyasa Times has – signed by MRA deputy commissioner, technical-customs and excise, Edwin Starch, the tax body did not receive the chasis number of the 4X4 vehicle whose approval for duty free status was extended to March 31, 2016.
The Benz which was cleared duty free – model 2015 S63 AMG Auto – was bought in UK with a total value of K105, 205, 671.00. It came to Malawi with only 100 miles mileage.
According to the commercial invoice by Lilypeck General Trading of Dubai, the vehicle was shipped from London port of loading through Beira, Mozambique.
Gani only paid sundries amounting to K41, 285.92 avoiding paying duty which could be in millions.
Nyasa Times understands MRA were against clearing such a luxurious car duty free by there was “political” pressure to have the car cleared free.
According to customs and excise experts at MRA, to have a car like that duty free it requires involvement of top government officials including Minister of Finance has to approve.
MRA reported the matter to ACB on suspicion of corruption in the matter.
ACB could not confirm nor deny if they have launched investigations into the matter.
When Nyasa Times contacted Gani, he could not grant an interview.
President Peter Mutharika recently told national broadcaster MBC that that tax evasion is an evil that is fast-killing Malawi financially.
He said some people are “selfish enough to think for themselves only by evading tax.”
The President said Malawians should learn to pay taxes voluntarily and warned his government will do everything to root out tax evasion.
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