The Government Lilongwe is seeking $309.6 billion from Columbia Gem House, an American mining company, accusing it of setting up a fraudulent scheme to avoid paying taxes and royalties on precious stones extracted from Malawi and exported to the United States.
This tax recall, a world record, is the largest tax adjustment in all history, all countries combined. This amount is more than 100 times the budget of Malawi.
In a letter to mining group Columbia Gem House, Justice Minister Thabo Sakaga Nyirenda accused the multinational company’s Malawian subsidiary (Nyala Mines Ltd) of evading customs duties and other royalties on its sales of rubies and sapphires. Mine in Malawi since 2008. In a statement to AFP, the minister says the company paid only $600 (yes, six hundred dollars) in tax of the $24 billion in mining revenue in Malawi. Following the tax audit, the Government The Malawi company owes $309.6 billion in taxes and fees, including interest and penalties, as of the due date.
Columbia Gem House and its subsidiary, “When those who violated their tax obligations and laws in Malawi failed to disclose all income earned from investments, engaged in unfair business practices and improper transfer pricing techniques in the framework of the exploration of rubies and sapphires,” Malawi’s justice minister alleges, quoted by AFP.
According to him, the scheme was allegedly used by both companies “To become unjustly rich” is “Changing the name of the company to Nyala Mines Limited to disguise the origin of the company, i.e. to make the new name of the company sound local, to avoid suspicion and detection”.
The government has further advised that Malawi reserves the right to take criminal action against these companies and anyone involved in tax evasion and fraudulent export invoicing. Big audit firms are already shaking.
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