Another cigarette maker swooped over tax stamps


Barely a week after The Daily Times uncovered a case of a Lilongwe-based company which was manufacturing and distributing cigarettes without Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) tax stamps, the Ministry of Industry and Trade on Friday busted another firm in the capital city over a similar issue.

Inspectors from the Ministry stormed the premises Sino-Ma Tobacco Limited, owned by Chinese nationals and located at Njewa, Lilongwe, for selling their cigarettes without payment of appropriate taxes.

Last week, The Daily Times published an article about another Lilongwe-based company, Vision International, whose cigarettes were found in various shops in the central region without carrying MRA tax stamps. Vision International is also owned by Chinese businesspersons.


Ministry of Industry and Trade spokesperson, Wiskes Mkombezi, said following the case of Vision International, the ministry has intensifying inspections to flush out illegal business operators.

He said Sino-Ma Limited has been violating the laws of Malawi by not remitting their taxes to the government.

Mkombezi said Sino-Ma Limited have been ordered to suspend their operations and that management of the company has been summoned to meet Ministry of Industry and Trade officials today for further hearing.


Sino-Ma Limited manager, Liang Dao Shou, said the company was not aware that their products are supposed to have an MRA tax stamp.

“We will now apply to MRA for the tax stamps,” said Liang.

Meanwhile, Nyasa Manufacturing – one of the local cigarette manufacturing companies, said its business has for the past 6 months been greatly affected by the increase in the distribution of illegal cigarettes on the market.

Addressing the press in Blantyre on Thursday, Nyasa chairperson, Konrad Buckle, said law abiding companies need protection from the government in such scenarios.

“For seven years we have been adding value to Malawi tobacco, creating jobs for many people. Without that protection, we will close down and it is Malawians who will suffer,” said Buckle.

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