One of the vehicles the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) seized from firebrand politician and Parliamentarian, Kamlepo Kalua for allegedly evading customs duties, is on International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) wanted list, Nyasa Times understand.
MRA on Wednesday last week seized Toyota Land Cruiser V8 registration number KA8966 and Mercedes Benz registration number RU5437 from Kalua after a search at his residential houses in Nkolokosa and Namiwawa in Blantyre following a tip-off from concerned Malawians.
The vehicles were on Monday returned to Kalua, who is reportedly missing, following a High Court order he obtained on Sunday pending a judicial review.
High Court Judge Rowland Mbvundula also gave Kalua a temporal relief from an imminent arrest in connection to the alleged tax evasion issue.
And information Nyasa Times has sourced from INTERPOL indicates that the Mercedes Benz is suspected to have been stolen from South Africa in a shoot-out heist in which one person was killed.
The vehicle is being investigated by that country’s police and has been branded as ‘Hot Car’.
According to INTERPOL, the sleek white Mercedes Benz (2014 make) belonged to OUTsurance, and the owner’s former address is 241 Embankment Road, Zwartkop, Centurion in South Africa.
The vehicle’s chassis number is WDD2040222R002072.
National police Public Relations Officer, James Kadadzera said the issue concerning Kalua’s vehicles was being handled by MRA and expressed ignorance about Kalua’s missing claims.
“As police we have not received any report that he is missing,” said Kadadzera.
Kalua’s elder son, Ken, while insisting that the Parliamentarian is missing and is incommunicado, confirmed that they have not yet reported the matter to police, arguing “because the consensus is they cannot help anything considering their demonstrated conduct when they came to seize the vehicles and treated us like thugs”.
But Kadadzera urged the Rumphi East Parliamentarian to come out, saying the law-enforcers are not hunting for him.
“We are not hunting for him. As police we are capable of finding him wherever he is (if at all we are looking for him). He should therefore come out from wherever he is because we are not after him. Let him come out and live his normal life,” said Kadadzera.
Another Kalua’s vehicle which the MRA also seized Jeep-CS 31-MK GP is also suspected to be a stolen car from Johannesburg in South Africa.
The Jeep Cherokee belonged to Ajusu of South Africa. Its chassis number is 1J8HDE8M05Y574370.
According 2016 statistics, 53809 vehicles were stolen in South Africa. This is 147 vehicles a day.
Meanwhile, authorities are trying to determine why and how Kamlepo’s Land Cruiser V8 was registered as Nissan Vanette in the Directorate of Road Transport and Safety Services’ MALTIS system while the registration number for the Mercedes Benz RU5437 does not exist in the system.
The process of registration of a car involves physical inspection at MRA, Interpol Police and Traffic Directorate.
And according to experts, Kamlepo may answer to charges in relation to evading customs duty contrary to Customs and Exercise Act apart fromcorruption charges for allegedly bribing a chain of officials using a corrupt syndicate in all three institutions.
Kamlepo has been vocal on corruption in Parliament and the media especially on maizegate scandal involving fired Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda and Admarc.
He also once claimed to know names of seven corrupt ministers but has failed to reveal them despite the public demands.
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