ZIMBABWE – Two Malawians have been penalised in Zimbabwe for attempting to export two vehicles from South Africa to Malawi through Zimbabwe without paying duty.
The two were fined US$2000 (about K1.5 million) after trying to evade tax when their church sent them to South Africa to buy the two vehicles.
Malawi24 understands that Ahamad Edie, 37, from Machinjiri in Blantyre and Bender Mark Allen, 33, from Lumbadzi in Lilongwe were arrested for making a false declaration in an attempt to evade tax.
A Zimbabwean publication reported that the pair were convicted on their own plea of guilty when they appeared before Beitbridge magistrate court last month.
The court heard that in December 2015, the duo bought two Toyota Land Cruisers in South Africa on behalf of their church in Malawi and obtained South African police clearance documents to export the cars on January 22 this year.
They then arrived at Beitbridge border post the following day where they tried to evade Zimbabwe’s customs laws. The two made a false declaration to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority that they were temporarily importing the cars to Blantyre in order to get Temporary Import Permit (TIP).
They managed to get the TIP and drove the vehicles out of the border post. Unfortunately, they were later intercepted by alert police officers in the border town.
The officers requested to see the pair’s travel and customs documents resulting in the discovery of the crime and they were arrested on the spot.
During sentencing, the two were ordered to pay a fine amounting to US$2,000 each or to spend two months in jail.
The magistrate also ruled that the vehicles should be released to Church of Christ in Malawi which is the pair’s church.