Mapeto executives rearrested for more fraud

Latif after court appearance picture by Pemphero Musowa

Mapeto David and Whitehead top executives have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, yet again for allegedly trying to defraud Malawi government of K252.6 million in tax revenue.

The four executives, Faizal Gaffar Latif, Mohamed Gaffar, Mohammed Yassen and Zarina Latif were arrested on Tuesday night.

Malawi Revenue Authority said on Wednesday, they also arrested two clearing agents, Chimwemwe Tembo, an officer and McKnight Banda, a manager from Fortune Limited v for conniving with the Mapeto executives.

Zarina Latif in an earlier court appearance

Steven Kopoloma, Head of Corporate Affairs explained the six suspects falsified documents presented for declaration and clearance of fabric.

Kapoloma disclosed this took place in April of 2021 with intent to defraud government of Malawi.

They will be charged with conspiracy to commit customs offenses, interfering with goods under customs control and uttering a false document.

The arrest comes as the four are already facing K16.5 billion tax evasion in court where they obtained an injunction against the proceedings.

Their injunction is for a judicial review of the decision by Chief Resident Magistrate Jean Kayira not to grant them 30 days to go through disclosures submitted by the State.

Lead lawyer for the Mapeto executive, John Mwakhawa declined to comment on the recent arrests.

Mwakhwawa and team obtained the injunction arguing he had just taken over the case from Jai Banda and wanted to get acquainted with the documents.

Magistrate Kayira denied their request pointing out full trial would proceed but High Court Judge Vikochi Chima see it otherwise to have the judicial review.