…a lot of money in foreign currencies discovered
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) yesterday raided Mipal Printers Limited in its continued efforts to recover millions of Kwacha it is owed in unpaid taxes and in the process discovered that the printing company was, in fact, printing The Post Newspaper currently closed.
The State taxman was tipped about Mipal Printers alleged involvement in tax fraud and evasion and descended on the premises and immediately seized and closed the company for failing to meet its tax obligations.
This was after a tip-off from the public that the printing company was involved in tax fraud and smuggling among other activities in their business.
Sources at ZRA explained to the Daily Nation in an interview that some of its officers in the company of Zambia Police raided the premises Mipal Printers on Panganani road and their other offices located on Lumumba Road for tax evasion schemes. They said the lock-down of Mipal Printers was to assist ZRA
in their investigations of the alleged fraud apart from information that the printing company was also involved in smuggling among other offences under the Customs and Excise Tax.
“This happened after a tip-off from a whistle blower alleging that the company was involved in tax evasion and smuggling but after entry and search was done on Wednesday night, it was also discovered that Mipal Printers Limited has been printing The Post Newspaper,” the source said.
ZRA undertook the operation as provided for in Section 9 of the Customs and Excise Act which authorised them to take action on any possible defaulters. Section 9 (2) says the Commissioner-General or an officer authorised by the Commissioner-General may: a) without previous notice, at any time enter any store, shop, structure, or enclosed area for the reception of goods, for the purpose of making such examination and inquiry as he considers necessary, and may, seal, mark, detain or otherwise secure any package there found;
c) at any time and at any place require from any person who has the possession, custody, or control of any such good, document, or thing, as is mentioned in paragraph (b), the production thereof them and there, or, at a time and place to be fixed by the officer.
They have since collected some documents and other equipment to assist in the investigations as the premises remained closed and heavily guarded by the Zambia Police A check by the Daily Nation at Mipal Printers Ltd along Panganani road in the early hours of Thursday found a combined team of armed police and ZRA officers had taken operations of the plant.
The Police, who found thousands of copies of The Post newspapers, also found satellite phones and various foreign currencies.
Newspaper owner Fred M’membe has vowed that he would print the paper despite the garnishee and court orders to stop the printer of the publication.