“The suspects have been ordered to surrender all their travel documents.”
Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo has granted bail to five Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons officials who were arrested on an alleged K10.8 billion tax evasion case.
The five were arrested on Friday and Sunday respectively for being suspected of defrauding the Government of Malawi a whooping K10.8 billion through tax evasion and were held being at Blantyre police station.
Mwanyongo delivered his ruling on bail application Tuesday afternoon and demanded the accused persons to pay K10 million cash each and K50 million non-cash surety each.
However, Mwanyongo revised downwards the K10 million cash bond for each accused person to K2 million following a plea by defence lawyer, Frank Mbeta.
But the non-cash bond for each surety for the accused remains K50 million.
The suspects have been ordered to surrender all their travel documents and report to Malawi Revenue Authority Commissioner General on a Monday every fortnight.
The suspects are Mapeto DWS director Faizal Gaffar Latif, his son, managing director Muhammed Gaffar, financial controller Abdul Rashid Bakali, procurement manager Yaseen Muhammad and general manager Martin Mpata.
Faisal Latif was close ally to the ousted former ruling party, DPP and used to fund them through both cash and party cloth material for political campaign.
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.
Last month, 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 seized 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.
“The goods may not be moved, sold, lent, hired, offered as security or in any other way dealt with until the embargo has been withdrawn in writing,” the notice, which MRA officers Eglyn Khuwi and Monica Kanjere signed, reads.
The notice said: “Failure to comply with the terms of the notice would render the owner of the goods liable to prosecution and forfeiture.”
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 five will return to court later for trial proceedings.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :