BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo has granted bail to five officials of Mapeto David Whitehead and Sons, who are accused of defrauding government billions of kwacha through tax evasion.
On Sunday, Mapeto Director Faisal Gaffar Latif handed himself over to MRA officials in Blantyre in the company of his lawyer Jai Banda.
The remaining four officials, Mapeto Managing Director Mohamed Gaffar, Financial Controller Abdul Rashid Bakali, Procurement Manager Yaseen Muhamad and General Manager Martin Mpata, were arrested on Friday.
Appearing before the court on Monday, one of the lawyers representing the accused persons, Jai Banda, asked the court to release on bail suspects on grounds that they cannot flee the country.
But the state, through its lawyers Anthony Chungu and Beatrice Mwangwera, objected to the defence’s bail application saying it was premature.
After hearing from both parties, Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo reserved the ruling on the bail application to today afternoon.
On bail conditions, each accused has been ordered to pay bail bond of ten million Kwacha cash.
The accused should also have two surities each to be bonded at the sum of fifty million Kwacha non-cash and travel documents should also be surrendered to police.
They will be reporting to the commissioner general of MRA on Mondays every fortnight.
With the authority of a search warrant issued by the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court, MRA embarked on investigations into alleged importation of assorted goods, including fabric and accessories, various types of motor vehicle tyres and other goods at the company.
Investigations by MRA also established that Mapeto DWS was employing expatriates and paying them appropriately, but was declaring less to MRA in terms of income tax or pay as you earn (Paye).
Meanwhile, two Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) employees have been implicated in the tax evasion case.
During the bail application hearing on Monday, Counsel Chungu also disclosed that, while the present case was being investigated, it came to MRA’s attention that another container of goods was imported into the country and its supporting documents were being tampered with.