Bollore Africa Logistics company and Stanford Osward Mmari face multiple charges over millions of Tanzania shillings in alleged tax evasion and fraud in a criminal case No 38 0f 2015 , the resident magistrate court of Bukoba was told on Thursday.
Bollore Africa Logistics in tax evasion worth millions of shillings.
The Public prosecutor and Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) lawyer Salvatory Sweet told the court that the duo made false declaration in the matter related to the customs C/s 203 (b) of the East African Community Customs Management Act of 2004 and concerned in fraudulent evasion of payment of duty C/S 203 (e) of the East African Community Customs Management Act of 2004.
He said Bollore Africa Logistics Tanzania Limited, being an customs clearing and Forwarding Agent, and Stanford Osward Mmari, being an employee of the company, were charged on May 30 and May 31 2013 at Kabanga Customs Boarder Station in Ngara District, Kagera were in fraudulent evasion of payment of customs duties amounting to Sh278,305,202.12 on importation of 1,000 cartoons of Supermatch cigarettes.
“For the first count, the two are alleged to make a false statement that 1,000 cartoons of Supermatch cigarettes valued at $ 47,500 imported from Burundi loaded on a motor vehicle with registration Number T 640 CAZ/ T628 CAZ were in transit, being consigned to HARBEK Trading company of P.O Box 256 Juba-South Sudan. The cigarettes were not exported,” he said.
He added: “For the second count they declared in customs declaration form No. T304 that the said cigarettes were in transit, being consigned to Juba-South Sudan through Mutukula Customs Boarder stations.
“Whereas in fact, the said cigarettes were not exported to Juba-South Sudan, instead they were diverted to domestic markets and consumed without payment of Customs Duties of Sh 278,305,202.12,” he told the resident magistrate’s court.
Only the first accused Stanford Oswald Mmari appeared but the public prosecutor told the court to provide arrest warrant to Bollore Logistics Company. According to the lawyer, the company is legal person.
However, the Bukoba resident Magistrate in-charge Chuma Wilbald asked the accused to provide a cash deposit to the court of about Sh159 million as court bail or irremovable property with value equivalent to the half of evaded customs duties.
The accused failed to meet the requirements and was taken to custody until on August 6 2015, when the case comes up for mentioning for the second time, as investigation is under way according to the public prosecutor.
We know of 3 companies in Arusha alone cheating the Tanzanian people/public for hundreds of millions of shillings of non paid tax, VAT, duty and more. They do it by offering service to their customers without VAT, avoiding to register invoices, by running two accounting systems on separate hard drives they can remove when the TRA shows up, and much more. These companies are in Retail (Furniture), transport logistics, construction.