The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has arrested former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) deputy commissioner general Roza Mbilizi and other officials at the institution.
ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala confirmed the development Thursday.
According to Ndala, Mbilizi and two others— namely former manager for customs and excise Fredrick Mpeusa and deputy commissioner for enforcement and operations Abigail Kawamba— are suspected to have abused former president Peter Mutharika’s tax identification number (TPIN).
And, in a statement signed by Ndala Thursday, the graft-busting body says bureau operatives arrested the three on July 7 2022, following an allegation they received on July 7 2020 that some individuals were abusing Mutharika’s TPIN.
Ndala said an investigation, which commenced in August 2020, established that the three were facilitating duty-free clearance of imported goods under CPC 418 belonging to the former president.
“They are likely to be charged with abuse of office contrary to Section 25B(1) as read with Section 34 of the Corrupt Practices Act and neglect of duty contrary to Section 121 of the Penal Code,” the statement reads.
Mutharika is said to have imported 1.2 million bags of cement duty-free in three batches.
The consignment is the equivalent of 2,000 30-tonner articulated trucks carrying a maximum of 600 cement bags each.
Each consignment was valued at $2.240 million, bringing the total cost of the three consignments to $6.720 million (about K5.040 billion).
The first clearance was made on November 28 2018 while the second clearance was given on July 1 2019. The third clearance was issued on December 16 2019, and was all signed by Kawamba.
Apart from Mbilizi, Mutharika’s former bodyguard Norman Chisale, State residences director-general Peter Mukhito, Mahmed Shafee Ahmed Chunara and Ahmed Muhammed Chunara have been slapped with 18 charges related to fraud, smuggling, conspiracy to commit customs offences and making false documents, among others.