Somaliland: Fake Tax Invoice Scam Engulfs SPA

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Mr Arei says his agency is cleanBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The State printing agency-SPA has denied alleged supply of fake tax invoices as well as Rumours of an on-going investigation by the Auditor General Office.

According to a statement released by the SPA Managing director Mr. Abdilahi Mohamed Jama ‘Arei’ the state printer is not under investigations despite the arrest of two employees and subsequent detention of one on suspicions of distributing fake invoices.

Said he, “While acknowledging that one of our employees is in custody we hereby categorically deny that the state printer is being investigated by the Auditor General-AG”

The MD’s reaction comes after media reports indicated that the state printer was being investigated by the government watchdog following the arrest of two employees last Tuesday immediately they report5ed for work.

The CID which released one of the arrested reported to be a technical manager after he recorded a statement while the one a machinist is still in custody is said to be investigating sources of fake tax invoices said to have originated from the state printer.

The in custody SPA Machinist Sadiq Ali Saeed is suspected of having used his position to steal Tax invoices and selling them to a prominent women Khat seller who has been using them at the Kalabyd Tax collection centre in Gabile region.

Sources indicate that the fake invoices were detected by the ministry of finance’s internal auditors at the Kalabyd tax centre where Khat entering the country from Ethiopian is taxed.

The fake tax invoices scam which is believed to lose the central coffers millions in revenue on a daily basis is also said to be rampant at the Berbera port where investigations are reported to have been instigated by the Auditor General.

Exonerating the state printing agency from accusations of collusion in the scam Mr. Abdilahi Mohamed Jama ‘Arei’ the agencies employees are known for their diligence and the detained machinist Sadiq will become the first rotten apple if ultimately found guilty of the crime.

While the Machinist continue to languish in custody the fake invoice sting raises many questions in view of the fact that he, machinist, and his purported client could not utilize the phony invoices without collaborators within the ministry of finance and more specifically the Tax department and its officers at Kalabyd.

On the other hand suspicion surrounds the AG’s office considering that similar arrests affected by the oversight body have resulted in reports shrouded in misty clouds.

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