By Spy Uganda
Last week a three Indian nationals spearheaded by Jigar Chandarana a director of Wellex Hardware accepted the criminal liability of trading fictitious Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) invoice and causing final loss to government and the taxpayer.
This cartel has amassed a lot of money from the network by involving in new clients whom they sell the fake invoices and earn huge commission.
One of the beneficiaries of the syndicate is a renowned global engineering company China Railway No.3 Engineering Group Limited.
Information obtained reveals that China Railway No.3 Engineering Group Ltd claimed input VAT of UGX. 211,869,259 from fictitious purchases of UGX. 1,117,051,439, causing revenue loss to the government of Uganda.
China Railway is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Railway Group Limited, one of the biggest construction enterprises in the world. The company is also ranked among the Fortune Global 500 and is listed on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.
Jigar and his accomplices had declared these fake invoices as output VAT between 2018-2023.
They ran out of luck last week when security raided their business Wellex Hardware Limited and arrested them following a probe into the tax affairs of Wellex Hardware Limited which began in 2022 after URA received information about an Indian businessman suspected of trading tax invoices among companies registered for VAT purposes.
The data also revealed that the directors of Wellex Hardware Limited were at the top of this syndicate, where they made sales to their clients but generated and sold several tax invoices to beneficiaries for a commission.
They were found guilty of generating and selling fictitious invoices by the Anti-Corruption Court in Kololo which slapped them with five counts of making false statements to a tax officer, an offense contrary to Section 58(1)(a) of the Tax Procedures Code Act, 2014. Each defendant was ordered to pay a fine of UGX 20,000,000 or face five years imprisonment in default.
URA’s lawyers were able to secure UGX. 102,878,055 in taxes, which Wellex Hardware Limited agreed to pay in full as assessed.
URA officials this website talked about the matter said, they had succeeded in arresting and also recovering money in form of taxes from the culprits.
Meanwhile, some Ugandans have since demanded that such culprits should not only be forced to cough these taxes but also deported for behaving contrary to the law.