Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons’ three top executives are facing fresh customs and tax invasion charges and are currently under lock and key in police custody.
According to the country’s tax policing body, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons bigwigs have been nabbed again for being suspected to to have committed new customs and tax evasion crimes.
The suspects who are on another court bail are Faizal Gaffar Latif, Yaseen Muhammad and Mahomed Gaffar.
MRA Head of Corporate Affairs, Steve Kapoloma have confirmed the arrests saying that the three suspects were nicked on Tuesday are currently held in police custody awaiting to be taken to court.
“I can confirm that three senior executive officers from Mapeto David Whitehead have indeed been arrested on fresh charges,” said Kapoloma.
However, Kapoloma said he could not give further details on the matter as investigations were still under way.
The three bosses were also arrested some months ago on allegation that they invaded tax amounting to MK16 Billion.
In May this year, Police in Blantyre acting on behalf of MRA have arrested Faizal Latif, Director and owner of Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons on various tax law contraventions amounting to MK10.8 billion, which later increased to K16 Billion due to incurred interest charges.
At the time, Mapeto owner is said to have gone into hiding before handing himself over to police because he was allegedly pleading with Tonse Alliance top hierarchy to “return the favour” rendered to them during the 2019 and 2020 general elections where his company offered credit lines for party cloth supplies.
Other officials who were arrested include; General Manager, Martin Mpata, Managing Director Mohamed Gaffar, Financial Controller Abdul Rashid Bakali, Procurement Manager Yaseen Muhamad.
The five officials were arrested on Friday 21st and 23rd May, 2021 for various offences committed while discharging their duties contrary to the provisions of the Customs and Excise Act, Taxation Act and Value Added Tax Act thereby defrauding the Malawi Government of revenue amounting to MK10.8 billion.
In the earlier charges, Mapeto, Malawi’s leading textile manufacturing company, the producers of Whitex Kutchena, is said to have imported finished rolls of clothes and declared them as raw materials in order to pay less and evade taxes.
Also, Mapeto is suspected to have allegedly imported containers of brand new tyres but declared them to the tax policing body, MRA were passed off as used ones.
In April this year, MRA invaded Mapeto seized their goods on suspicion that the goods were smuggled into the country.
The notice of seizure number 025435 and notice of embargo dated March 30, 2021 that Nyasa Times has in possession indicate that the goods included 246 bales of Java Wax fabric and 5,300 bales of mixed rolls of fabric.
The notice of seizure and embargo gave the reason for the seizure as smuggling and read: “Please note that in terms of Section 149 of Customs and Excise Act, I have an embargo of the above goods..
Mid last year, the owner of Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons Faisal Latif was summoned by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for questioning over his role in the K300 million cheque made to Mapeto as payment for immediate past ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) branded cloth.
The DPP is reportedly said to have pressurised the then Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (MERA) Chief Executive Officer, Collins Magalasi to pay for the former ruling party cloth meant for during the June 2020 fresh presidential elections campaign.
However, Mapeto is said not to have delivered the cloth but instead Faisal Latif gave the DPP K200 million in cash this is according to Collins Magalasi’s recorded statement gave to both the police and ACB.
Malawians are waiting with bated breaths to see whether or not the new Tonse Alliance government will continue to treat Faisal Latif, who appears to be a habitual offender in tax evasion, with kid gloves or will allow crime agencies like ACB, Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) and the Police to do their jobs independently.
During the DPP regime, Faisal Latif and his Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons infiltrated into the system and were dealing with the top brass of the ruling politburo.
Faisal Latif is alleged to to use his other company, Honkong Polychem Limited Company as a conduit to evade tax and externalize foreign currency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :