Two Chinese traders have been arrested in Blantyre for tax evasion offences, a week after the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Joseph Mwanamvekha committed to more tax enforcements to safeguard government revenues in Malawi.
The two Chinese traders, Jiang Peng of United Manufacturing Company Ltd and Yuan Chenggang of Herocean Enterprise are currently held at Blantyre Police Station while authority investigate further.
According to Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)’s Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kopoloma: “They have been arrested for violations of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act which led to tax revenue losses of over half a billion Kwacha between April and September this year.”
Kolopoma said that some documents seized from the two companies indicate that Herocean Enterprises did not change VAT on certain sales resulting in the evasion of K580.9 million.
“United Manufacturing Company Ltd in Blantyre sold motor vehicle batteries without charging VAT, evading K45 million in the process, the operation followed a tip from well-wishers,” said Kolopoma.
While Mwanamvekha was delivering his inaugural national budget statement in Parliament last week, he said the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the MRA will continue to monitor taxpayer compliance through risk-based audits and enforcements.
The Malawi government is expecting K1.3 trillion tax revenues to be collected by MRA to finance the recently presented K1.7 trillion national budget for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.