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Court orders tax evader to pay K7million or nine months in jail

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AN ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Court ordered Alaska Solutions Limited director Zhang Weisheng to pay K7.3million fine for tax evasion or go to jail for nine months.

The court has further ordered his company to also pay a fine K7, 308,000 forthwith.

This was after the circuit court, sitting in the Copperbelt, found Alaska Solutions Limited and its director guilty of 36 counts of tax evasion, allegations which were instituted by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA).

In its desire to crack down on tax evasion, the ZRA on the Copperbelt, instituted criminal proceedings against Alaska Solutions Limited and the director of the said company.

The duo was slapped of charges of false statement and returns and evasion of taxation contrary to sections 43 and 44 of the Value Added Tax Act Cap 331 of the laws of Zambia.

During judgment today, the Economic and Financial Crimes Court, sitting on circuit from Lusaka, convicted the Alaska Solutions Limited and Mr Zhang on all the 36 counts of tax evasion levelled against them.

In its verdict, the court sentenced Mr Zhang to pay a fine of K7,308,000 forthwith in default nine months simple imprisonment while the company was also convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K7,308,000 forthwith, a warrant of distress to be issued.

Facts were that between the 1st September 2021 and 30th day September 2022, in Kitwe, the convicts, in purported compliance with the law, did furnish tax invoice numbers to ZRA, purporting to show that Alaska Solutions Limited had been supplied with taxable supplies by named Copperbelt companies which was false in material particular.

It was alleged that the same company and Mr Zhang fraudulently recovered Value Added Tax(VAT) by furnishing false returns that taxable supplies were made to Alaska Solutions Limited by named Copperbelt companies on various tax invoices for the period 2021 to 2022 when infact not.

The Government lost revenue worth K9.3 million due to the fraudulent recovery of VAT by the company and Director.

ZRA corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said in a statement that this is the 10th company ZRA has successfully prosecuted In the course of the year.

He said among the prosecuted companies include Eagles Eye Transformation Limited, Taurus Mineral Resources Limited, Mineral Junxion and Transport Zambia Limited and Focus on Equipment which have since paid K11.8 million in tax evasion.

“Santorin Investments Limited was convicted and sentenced to fine a fine of K124.2 million, Pingani Auto Services Limited was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K89.3 million, Changesheng Mining Equipment Company Limited was convicted and sentenced to pay fine of K13.6 million and Jungsheng Industry Company Limited was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of K6.5 million,” Mr Nzala said.

He said enlisted companies engaged in fraudulent tax evasion by furnishing false returns and statements that they were supplied with goods by various Copperbelt companies when infact not.

Mr Nzala said ZRA notes with sadness rising cases of VAT fraud and has sternly warned the criminal syndicates involved in fraudulent tax schemes that they will be prosecuted without fear or favour.

“To curb the scourge, measures have been put in place to fight this vice. In this regard all taxpayers found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Our Tax Investigators are on the ground investigating various tax crimes and very soon those found wanting will be brought before the courts of law”.

(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)

Business

ZNS warehouse robbed, 212 GMO mealie meal bags en-route to DRC vanish.

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OVER 200 bags of Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) mealie meal meant for export into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been stolen by unknown criminals.

The mealie meal is believed to have been stolen from a Zambia National Service (ZNS) warehouse at Kasumbalesa, where the contraband was stored, awaiting exportation.

ZNS chief marketing and public relations Colonel Mable Nyone said the service as well as police have since launched investigations into the matter.

“The Zambia National Service (ZNS) regrets to report that thieves last night broke into one of our warehouses at Kasumbalesa Border which house imported Eagles mealie meal meant for export to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and made away with about 212 by 25 kilograms of mealie meal estimated at more than K68, 000.This incident represents a slap in the face of the Service’s noble efforts of supplementing Government’s efforts of generating additional resources to complement those coming from the treasury,” she said

Colonel Nyone warned that those involved in the illegal act should, therefore, brace themselves to face the full force of the law.

She said the service, working closely with the Zambia Police, will fiercely pursue the individuals behind this irresponsible criminal act to ensure they are brought to justice.

“The perpetrators risk facing, not only charges related to breaking in and stealing bags of mealie meal but also a possible charge on illegally offloading genetically modified organism (GMO) commodities onto the local market, should they attempt to offload the commodity on the Zambian soil,” she said.

Colonel Nyone urged Zambian citizens to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities related to the sale or distribution of the stolen ZNS mealie meal, particularly those bearing black labels.

“As a direct response to the unfortunate incident, ZNS will intensify security measures at all of our depots to prevent any further occurrences. We are committed to safeguarding our facilities while at the same time protecting the interests of the Zambian people who have chosen not to consume any GMO product,” she said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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ZRA uncovers vehicle identity scam

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THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has unearthed a motor vehicle identity scam in which perpetrators use registration numbers of other motor vehicles to smuggle vehicles into the country.

In a recent development related to the ongoing investigation, a vehicle previously belonging to the Zambia Revenue Authority, which was involved in an accident and subsequently written off by the insurance company, has had its registration details illicitly used for another vehicle.

ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Oliver Nzala said the new vehicle was not duly cleared, and no duties were paid for its registration, constituting a serious violation of national laws and regulations under the Customs and Excise Act.

He said the estimated revenue loss from this smuggling act is K 97,700.

“The vehicle in question has since been detained by the Authority, and extensive investigations are underway to uncover the individuals responsible for this fraudulent activity. This incident underscores the sophisticated nature of the fraud being perpetrated and the lengths to which individuals will go to circumvent legal and regulatory frameworks,” he said.

Mr Nzala said the Authority in partnership with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the Zambia Police Service, and other key stakeholders, is intensifying efforts to enhance the security features of vehicle registration documents and to tighten controls across the board.

“Our goal is to prevent future incidents of fraud and to protect public revenues and safety. We call upon anyone with information related to vehicle identity theft, including the misuse of registration details of vehicles written off or involved in accidents, to provide such information to ZRA. Your cooperation is vital in our ongoing efforts to combat these illegal activities,” he said.

(Mwebantu, Tuesday, 20th February, 2024)

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MultiChoice Talent Factory wins CSR and Responsible Business Leadership award

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THE MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiative of MultiChoice, has been honored with the prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Responsible Business Leadership Award at the 5th CSR and Responsible Business Awards Ceremony.

The event took place in Livingstone.

The award is bestowed upon organisations that demonstrate outstanding commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and exhibit exemplary leadership in responsible business practices.

The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy which was established in 2018, has been a beacon of opportunity for aspiring creatives across Africa.

“The MultiChoice Talent Factory academy has been active since 2018 and is currently entering its 5th cohort. It is a comprehensive one-year, MultiChoice fully sponsored training program accredited by the University of Zambia, designed to develop the professional skills of young creatives in the African film and television industry,” reads a statement.

(Mwebantu, Monday, 19th February, 2024)

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