MRA busts Faisal Latif, his son, and 3 seniors at Mapeto over K10.8bn tax fraud

“Arrests follows a six week long examinations of documents.”

Elusive and highly politically-connected Blantyre based business magnet, owner of Mapeto David Whitehead, Faisal Gaffar Latif has been arrested alongside his son, Muhammad, who is the company’s managing director and three other senior officials for defrauding the Malawi Government to the tune of K10.8 billion through tax evasion.

Former President Mutharika being briefed on the new equipment by Latif (2L) as former Minister of Trade and Industry Joseph Mwanamvekha (far left) and former First Lady Gertrude Mutharika look on

The five, who were arrested by the country’s tax policing body, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) are being held at Blantyre Police Station waiting to be taken to the court.

Apart from Faisal Latif and his son Muhammad, the tax collector, MRA also busted Mapeto’s General Manager, Martin Chapati Mpata, financial controller, Abdul Rashid Bakali and the company’s procurement manager, Yaseen Muhammad.

MRA Head of Corporate Affairs, Steve Kapoloma in a statement announcing the arrests, said:

“The five were arrested on Friday and Sunday respectively 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 K10.8 billion.”

Kapoloma said the arrests follows a six week long examinations of documents, which were siezed at the business premises of Mapeto David Whitehead Limited in Blantyre.

Faisal Latif, who has been highly connected to the powers that be is a powerful and untouchable for the past three decades acquired David Whitehead Limited in 2003 amid strong protests from the public through the infamous privatisation programme.

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 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.

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Bristone Mabichi
Bristone Mabichi
1 year ago

Let justice reign in our land of Malawi.

Christon
Christon
1 year ago

We shall soon have the spokesman for Amwnyes Mr Rafik Hajat complaining about how MRA targets Indians.

Ngwazi
1 year ago

Let’s hope it’s intimidation from Tonse Alliance so that they take over the bribes, don’t ever trust any living politician.

Ngwazi
1 year ago

Indians and Chinese r face of corruption.

Ngwazi
1 year ago

Don’t ever trust any Indian even they can lie to u that they r born again christians ,NEVER!!!

Gule Wankulu
Gule Wankulu
1 year ago

Never thought there would come a moment when I’d make this comment: CONGRATULATIONS MRA!🇲🇼

Kanjedza
Kanjedza
1 year ago

None of the following involved??
Clearing agents at the border
MBS cess collectors
Officers at inland examination centre
MBS IQSM officials to certify that the tyres were secodnhand or new
Officers witnessing the opening of the seal on teh container and whilst offloading the conatiner
Any container that comes into Malawi goes throught all the above stages. How come no one reported

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
1 year ago

nthawi ija mafuta a gialimoto amavuta muja paja anali ndi citsime cao cao.
athen the stupid presdent allowed ir.It stinks.
ndekuti nayeso lesdent anali mugululo la corruption.
hw come treating the mwenyes better than eni dziko. yes some ndi nzika . sitikudziwa amanunkhitsa nzake ndi ndani. uyuso amakoza halfu strength ya panadol ujaso crook mu egyptian yu

Economist
Economist
1 year ago

When companies like Mpheto who enrich themselves by engaging in smuggling and evasion of taxers, they should be punished most severely both by serving long prison terms and forfieture of their assets.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
1 year ago

Tsano mukumuonetsa nkuluyu ndi a Pulezident opuma chifukwa ninji? Amalawi tizikhala ndi ulemu . Mumadziwa kuti chithunzi chimanena zambiri. Apa mngakhale kuti ine siwaDPP mwalakwitsa chifukwa a dadi sizikuwakhudza.

PelomaPepe
PelomaPepe
1 year ago

True

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