How It Happened: MTN Tax Evasion Bubble Bursts

link geneva;”>Represented by WEB Advocates & Solicitors, Naphtal Were, the interdicted MTN logistics officer, says he carried out numerous searches and inquiries at Uganda Revenue Authority on a sample of tax declarations made by MTN Uganda Limited between year 2005 and 2012.

As a result of the aforesaid investigations, I found out, among other facts, that MTN Uganda Limited has over the years been engaged in acts of outright tax evasion and false declarations resulting in payment of less tax than what should have been paid,” says Were.

“I also found that between the 3rd of April 2008 and 12th of July 2008, MTN Uganda Limited through its Officers to wit; Mr. Charles Mbiire, Mr. Khumo Sheunyane, Ms. Mosipho Molope, Mr. Sifiso Debengwa, Mr. Christian De Faria, Mr. Ignasius Sehoole, Mr. Mozipho January Bardil, Mr. Anthony Mutyaba Katamba, Mr. Francois Terffoute, Mr. Meryvin Immelman, Mr. Mike Blackburn and Mr. Nigel Williams being the Chairman of the Board, members of the Board of Directors, Company Secretary, Heads of Procurement and C8hief Finance Officers of MTN Uganda Limited respectively knowingly failed to declare the following invoices to wit, B2008033113 of 3rd April 2008, IM-080055 of 4th July 2008 and IM-080057 of 11 July 2008 thereby evading taxes,” Were said in a compliant, now before Court.

Were maintains these invoices had a “declarable value of USD 323,500.00 (FOB) thereby causing a tax loss or evasion of Shs 163,800,332.”

Chimpreports last week reported that Buganda Road Magistrate’s Court in Kampala had summoned MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbiire, Chief Executive Office Mazen Mroue, board members Khumo Sehoole and Mozipho January Dardil among others to take plea over allegations of false declaration and conspiracy to falsify declaration to defraud government of taxes.

“Your attendance is necessary in court to answer charges of False Declaration Contrary to section 203 (a) and (b) of the East African Community Customs Management Act 2004, Tax Evasion contrary to section 203 (e) of the East African community customs management Act 2004, conspiracy to make false declarations and conspiracy to evade tax contrary to sections 193 of the East African Community customs management Act, 2004,” read part of the summons issued last Wednesday by Buganda Road Court Chief Magistrate, Sylivia Nalwanga.

“You are hereby commanded to appear before this honourable Court on this 12th day of December at 9:00am or soon thereafter as the case can be heard.”

MTN denies allegations of tax evasion, saying, “customs declarations are made by clearing agents, and not by the MTN Global Chief Executive or the MTN Board, who reside abroad, or by the MTN Uganda Chairman or senior executives, as this is a function of clearing agents which are independent companies.”

“Therefore, the private prosecution which was initiated by a person who is facing four cases of fraud and theft should be viewed in its proper perspective,” a statement issued early this week by CEO- MTN Uganda, Mazen Mroué reads in part.

But Were has exhibited unprecedented zeal and courage to bring MTN top shots to book for evading taxes – which could build at least 20 Health Centre IVs.

The Anti Corruption Court Chief Magistrate, Irene Akankwasa, also last Wednesday stayed the planned prosecution of Were on charges of embezzlement and conspiracy to embezzle of company funds.

Were’s lawyers told Akankwasa that MTN is trumping up “ludicrous charges” which include theft of MTN property-11 solar power inverters against their client to intimidate him against pushing forward a case that could expose the rot at the telecommunications firm.

The MTN case, business analysts argue, could be Uganda’s “biggest corporate fraud scandal” in recent history if the accused are convicted of tax evasion.

Were says from the other transactions/entries he sampled, it emerged between the years 2005 and 2012, MTN Uganda Limited and its made false or incorrect declarations of goods imported thereby culminating to loss of tax revenue amounting to Shs 5,022,514,517 in false declaration broken down as follows:-


Header advertisement
To Top