Rwanda National Police (RNP) yesterday paraded three men who were arrested in connection with evading taxes amounting to Rwf1 billion.
The suspects are alleged to have manipulated the Electronic Billing Machines (EBM) to run ghost companies that they would later use to claim for VAT refund from Rwanda Revenue Authority.
The suspects are identified as Cliaque Muyango, Jean Claude Rugwizangoga and Abdul Karim Ribonande.
Besides the refund claims, the trio would also issue false EBM receipts to traders without items sold and would get commissions on every false receipt issued, according to Police preliminary investigations.
They are alleged to have ran the scam using ghost companies registered as Union Trading Company, Beyi Layisi Company and Quality Business company.
“For over a year, they weren’t selling or buying a single unit, yet their billing machine indicates that they had amassed taxes…besides, they were claims of VAT refund from these suspects under the ghost firms as well as refund companies that had acquired items from the trio which triggered investigations that later discovered the network,” Emmy Mbera the coordinator of EBM in RRA said.
Bayi Layisi had allegedly claimed a VAT refund of Rwf249m, Quality Business Rwf542 and Reason Trading had claimed a refund of Rwf 221million.
“Of the 12,000 EBMs so far given out, 25 so far were found to be involved in such dirty dealings and of the 25 people who own these machines, 10 have been arrested but we are working closely with RNP to ensure all those involved are brought to justice.”
Addressing journalists at Remera Police station, the Central Region Police Spokesperson Superintendent of Police (SP) Emmanuel Hitayezu commended efforts of all stakeholders and the general public for their partnership in overcoming illegal business activities, and for facilitating the apprehension of fraudsters.
“This should serve as an example to those in the business community who are planning to indulge in such activities. Sooner or later we shall catch up with them and they will face the law,” he said.
SP Hitayezu pointed out that such activities negatively affect the country’s development agenda and warned the business community against getting involved in activities that undermine the economy.
If found guilty, the trio risks a jail sentence of up to two years and a fine equal to the evaded tax as stipulated in article 369 of the penal code.