The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has confirmed that’s its officers on Wednesday pounced on vocal and controversial politician and Parliamentarian, Kamlepo Kalua and seized two vehicles for allegedly failing to pay customs duties.
MRA seized Toyota Land Cruiser V8 registration number KA8966 and Mercedes Benz registration number RU5437 from Kalua after a search at his residential houses following a tip-off from concerned Malawians.
The two vehicles according to MRA were not cleared through customs, and duty and Kalua who is Member of Parliament (MP) for Rumphi East constituency, will answer charges in relation to evading customs duty contrary to Customs and Exercise Act.
Information in Nyasa Times possession indicates that the 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.
Kalua, who is vocal on social media while indirectly commenting on the issue, accused government of intimidation and cooking up cases against the opposition political parties’ leaders.
“They are now planning to use the police to raid houses of opposition leaders (MCP and PP), and some civil society organizations to search us and plant criminating things,” wrote Kalua on his Facebook page.
“They want to create a similar scenario like that of the former ministers for opposition members. Wrong move! We will search the police first before they enter our houses. All this to intimidate us. Tell your master that he cannot even intimidate a child!”
Experts say such cases of dubious registration happen when the vehicle is suspected to have been stolen from another country. It is what is popularly known as “Hot Cars”.
The process of registration of a car involves physical inspection at MRA, Interpol Police and Traffic Directorate.
His case raises suspicion that he may have bitten the system using a corrupt syndicate in all three institutions.
Kalua, who has been at loggerheads with government over his whistleblowing on alleged corrupt practices in government, denied any wrong doing.
He has been vocal on corruption in Parliament and the media especially on maizegate scandal involving fired Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda and Admarc.
In a related development, the tax body on Tuesday, 25th April, 2017, conducted a search at the business premises of Pafs/Peks Auto Spare Parts & Accessories in Blantyre on suspicion of non-remittance of various types of Domestic taxes and Customs Duty.
The search resulted in the seizure of some financial source documents from the companies.
MRA says the operation follows tips from well-wishers, alleging that Pafs/Peks Auto Spare Parts owened by Ferdinand Okafor, Celestine Okafor and Patricia Jiah Okafor are not remitting correct amount of taxes to Malawi Revenue Authority in form of Customs Duty, Value Added Tax (VAT), Income Tax, PAYE and Withholding Tax.
The vehicles and files seized during the two operations are being kept at MRA offices while the Authority is conducting further verifications exercise regarding the allegations.
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