Kampala: On 16th June, 2023, the Anti-Corruption Court sitting in Kololo, Kampala found two directors of Wellex Hardware Limited and their Accountant guilty of generating and selling fictitious invoices.
The accused were; Jigar Chandarana, Jitendra Sorathiya and the accountant, Ronak Moradiya Ghanshyambhai.
They were convicted on 5 counts of making false statements to a tax officer contrary to Section 58(1) (a) of the Tax Procedures Code Act, 2014.
The Trio according to an amended charge sheet that this website has seen dated 12th June, 2023 and signed by IP Janet Muhindo started their scheme in March 2021.
In March 2021, the trio knowingly filed VAT returns to URA purporting to have made supplies to China Railway No.3 Engineering Company amounting to 361,533,475 Shillings.
In August 2021, the group again filed fictitious returns to URA purporting to have supplied China Railway No.3 Engineering Company amounting to 84,864,406 Shillings.
In September 2021, they filed VAT returns to URA claiming to have supplied the same China Railway No.3 Engineering Company amounting to 140,109,660 Shillings.
Then in the month of October, 2021, they knowingly again filed VAT returns to a Tax Officer at URA claiming to have made supplies to China Railway No.3 Engineering Company amounting to 212,331,778 Shillings.
Finally before the scam was busted, the trio again filed fictitious VAT returns to URA purporting to have made supplies to the same China Railway No.3 Engineering Company amounting to 361,533,475 Shillings.
THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
How could URA fail to detect the scam that started way back in March 2021 into May 2022 moreover between the same companies i.e Wellex Hardware and China Railway No.3 Engineering Company?
The scam was clearly between the two companies and most certainly China Railway No.3 Engineering Company was an accomplice in this crime. Why are the directors or officials of China Railway No.3 Engineering Company not charged?
Thirdly why did a high URA official visit another company owned by the same Indians at the same time they were in court battling the charges of making false statements to a tax officer contrary to Section 58(1) (a) of the Tax Procedures Code Act, 2014?
It is on record that the Commissioner Domestic Taxes, Sarah M. Chelangat together with a team from the Large Tax Payers Office visited Winworld Group of Companies on 15th June, 2023 in what they said was a good gesture towards the Company’s High Voluntary Tax Compliance.
Winworld Group of Companies has Jitendra Sorathiya as one of the Founders and Directors. The same Jitendra convicted by the Anti-Corruption Court.
Could the Tax fraud actually be an inside job? Are the beneficiaries of the fraud within URA trying to ‘massage’ their accomplices who have been convicted?
Was the scam busted only after some misunderstanding between interested parties?
Why was the scam detected in May 2022 after five successful filings?
A section of Ugandans also claimed that the culprits who are likely to be deported, were under assessed and they wondered how URA ended up negotiating with them despite the plenty of evidence of causing financial loss to the government.
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