THE Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has arrested three Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) employees and one clearing agent for corruption.
And the ZRA has suspended the Tax Payer Identification number (TPIN) for Fedrol Cargo Logistics of Zambia for fuel smuggling and tax fraud.
In a statement, Wednesday, ACC corporate affairs officer Jonathan Siame identified the three officials as Topsy Sakala, Dickson Msimuko, Nasilele Isilabo, and the clearing agent Nancy Yendama.
“The ACC has arrested three ZRA employees and one clearing agent for corruption involving abuse of authority of office, corrupt practices and fraudulent false accounting. Topsy Sakala, Dickson Msimuko, both ZRA Treasury Officers; Nasilele Isilabo, a ZRA Senior Treasury Officer and Nancy Yendama, a clearing agent have been charged with various counts ranging from corrupt practices, fraudulent false accounting, and abuse of authority of office, contrary to the laws of Zambia,” Siame stated.
“Topsy Sakala, 34, of Chilenje in Lusaka has been charged with two counts of fraudulent false accounting, contrary to Section 326 Cap 87 of the laws of Zambia, two counts of abuse of authority of office by a public officer, contrary to Section 21 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012, and a further two counts of corrupt practices, contrary to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.”
Siame revealed that on dates unknown, but between January 1, 2019, and April 15, 2020, in Lusaka, Sakala, being a public officer, whilst acting together with others unknown received bribes of K21,000 and K100,000 on separate occasions in order to generate false Automated System for Customs Data (Asycuda) receipts for Simudi Enterprises and Savenda Management Services Limited.
Siame added that Dickson Msimuko, aged 39, of Emmasdale in Lusaka had been charged with two counts of abuse of authority of office by a public officer, and two counts of corrupt practices.
“Details in the matter are that Msimuko, being a public officer, on unknown dates, but between 1st January, 2019, and 21st April, 2020 in Lusaka, whilst acting with others unknown, abused the authority of his office and received bribes of K100,000 and K1,500 on separate occasions from agents in order to facilitate generation of a false Asycuda receipts for Savenda Management Services Limited and an unknown company,” Siame narrated.
He added that Isilabo, aged 43, of Obama area in Lusaka, had been charged with four counts of corrupt practices and one count of fraudulent false accounting.
“Details of the offence are that on unknown dates, but between 1st January, 2019, and 21st April, 2020 in Lusaka, Isilabo, being a public officer, whilst acting together with others unknown, received bribes of K100,000, K12,000, K25,000, and K2,500 on separate occasions from a named agent in order to facilitate generation of false Asycuda receipts for Savenda Management Services Limited and an unknown company. Meanwhile, Nancy Yendama, 35, of Kamwala South in Lusaka, a Director at Nameric Investments Limited and Yenamo Investments Limited, is charged with five counts of corrupt practices, contrary to Section 19 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012,” he added.
“Details are that on unknown dates, but between 1st January, 2018, and 20th April, 2020 in Lusaka, Yendama, being a businessperson, whilst acting together with others unknown paid bribes of K104,730, K12,500, K25,000, and K2,500 on separate occasions to the aforementioned ZRA Treasury Officers in order to facilitate generation of false Asycuda receipts for Savenda Management Services Limited. She further paid a bribe of K10,000 to a named ZRA officer in order for him to facilitate the release of an impounded truck. The suspects have since been released on bond and are due to appear in court soon.”
Meanwhile, ZRA corporate affairs manager Topsy Sikalinda announced in a separate statement that the Commission had suspended a clearing agent Fedrol Cargo Logistics’ TPIN, which allegedly declared one truck of fuel worth K1 million as transit fuel when in fact not.
“The trucks were declared as transit cargo to DRC by Fedrol Cargo Logistics, a Zambian clearing agent. One of the trucks carrying fuel worth over K1 million was being monitored to appreciate and understand how exactly the scam was happening. The alert ZRA officials had to wait for the truck to start offloading the consignment in the light industrial area for them to impound and document the evidence. This consignment was declared as transit fuel going to Congo DRC, but was offloaded in Zambia without paying any taxes. The Authority has further decided to suspend the TPIN for the clearing company,” Sikalinda disclosed.
And he added that the Commission also impounded three trucks at Makeni Enforcement Centre for fuel smuggling.
“The ZRA is closing in on fuel smuggling scams that have already resulted in three trucks being impounded at the ZRA Makeni Enforcement Centre. The Authority is aware of transit fraud that is currently happening and warns all people involved that the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them! We are monitoring the situation and gathering all the evidence to ensure that prosecution in the courts of law is fully successful. The Authority is exploring a partnership with Congo to ensure that information exchange is done on all transits,” stated Sikalinda.