The Blantyre Magistrate Court has ordered Andrew Nkome and Francis Phambiwa to pay a total sum of K250 000 fine for offences bordering on falsification of the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Electronic Generated Fiscal Device (EFD) tax invoices.
Delivering her sentence, Magistrate Ellen Chapita Banda said forgery of MRA receipt is a serious offence no matter the amount which was evaded and it attracts a custodial sentence as it defrauds government of revenue necessary for its every day operation.
Magistrate Banda, however, said she has given the two convicts an optional fine sentence in all the three counts there were convicted of considering that they were first time offenders and that they also showed remorse.
The court heard that Francis Phambiwa aged 40 who hails from Chapweteka village,Traditional Authority Juma in Mulanje District who is an employ of a company identified as Mothers holdings on 17th July and 2nd September this year approached Andrew Nkome, 34 of Phekani Village, T/A Kachindamoto in Dedza District to help him forge an invoice of commodities he had purchased on behalf of his company at Pejj investment valued at K490,500.
Magistrate Banda then convicted Both Nkome and Chapweteka of forgery which is contrary to section 48 of Value added tax Act Malawi.
The court also charged the two with an offence of evading value added tax which is contrary to section 49 of the Value Added Tax Act, cap 42:02 of the laws of Malawi where by it was established that the convicts evaded tax amounting to close to K70,000 in the process.
The court also charged the first accused Andrew Nkome with another Count of an invoice of forgery when it was established that in August this year he also falsified an invoice bearing the trade name of Auto quip Limited amounting to K55,000.
The court then ordered the first accused Andrew Nkome to pay K200 000 for the first and second count respectively,K100 each and K50 000 for the last count making it a K250 000 fine.
Francis Phambiwa who was the second accused has been ordered to pay K200 000 kwacha fine for the two counts, K100 000 each.
The two convicts were being represented by lawyer Kondwan Denis Kumitengo who said he would not be appealing the sentence.
Meanwhile the revenue collecting body , MRA has hailed the fine sentencing saying it would go along way in deterring would be offenders considering that the two convicts had also been in prison for two months.
MRA head of Cooperate affairs Steven Kapoloma said tax evasion is negatively affecting revenue correction and that the malpractice needs to be checked.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :