Public tax collector Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it has seized 47 vehicles, mostly Toyota Fortune owned by car hire companies, for non-payment of tax to recover K488 million.
MRA head of corporate affairs Steve Kapoloma said they seized the vehicles in joint operation with the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) which was conducted in August 2018
Kapoloma in an interview said the MRA established that “there were a lot of vehicles that were registered without paying tax.”
He said the vehicles were “smuggled” into the country and “fraudulently registered” at DRTSS.
But DRTSS spokesperson Angelina Makwechas said her agency has no mandate to introduce the vehicles to Malawi Traffic Information System (Maltis) without MRA.
“The vehicles are introduced into our system by MRA as our systems are on interface with each other,” she said.
She explained that the system only allows DTRSS to register vehicles that have been introduced by MRA.
Meanwhile, Kapoloma said smuggling remains a challenge in the country due to porous borders.
He said before the 47 vehicles seizure, MRA managed to recover K775 504 495.88 on 252 seized vehicles which are commonly smuggled through Southern and Central Region borders.