MRA Pounces Two Salima Sugar Directors, Father And Son For Suspicious Financial Transactions

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has pounced on Shareholders of Aum Sugar Allied Ltd Shirieesh Betgiri and his son Bruhat Betgiri both Directors at Salima Sugar for being suspected of suspicious financial transactions.

Sources close to the investigations revealed that Shirieesh Betgiri is being investigated on a number of cases including tax evasion.

It is further revealed that not long time ago, Shirieesh Betgiri abused shareholdership by borrowing money amounting to K4Billion and invest in Salima Sugar as equity. For example at Pacific Co Ltd he borrowed K1.9 Billion at 23% interest.

For example on 01 February 2022 Mr Shirieesh Betgiri of Mothers Dairy and Energy Farms Limited wrote CDH Account Relationship Manager, advising him that, through Current Account No 003021552201 he has issued
Cheque number 000009 amounting to MWK 510 Million.

“Kindly Note that we have issued Cheque No 000009 of MWK 510,000.
(Five Hundred Ten Million Kwacha Only) from above mentioned account to Aum Sugar & Allied Ltd. Please register this as Equity contr from Mothers Dairy & Energy Farms Ltd to Aum Sugar & Allied Ltd. Kindly send us the confirmation of Reserve Bank of Malawi Acceptance
Please effect the instruction urgently.

The other illicit thing is that he was borrowing money from the sugar distribution companies which makes things worse and complicated.

“What this man was doing was totally wrong and unacceptable at all. Investigations have revealed that Shirieesh Betgiri was getting some cash from sources such as companies that we have managed to trace at the interest rate of 23 percent and pay back the loans using money cashed from the company, and tax records have never been clear at all,” says our source.

What Shirieesh Betgiri is doing is against Malawi Government laws on shareholdership which encourages transparency accountability in its dealings.

Our sources have further added that the investigations have established that the suspects registered so many companies but are not operational.

It is not known what kind of business some of these companies are doing in Malawi like Mother Dairies Ltd.

MRA is mandated to collect Import Duty, Import Excise, Import Value Added Tax (VAT) Export Duty as well as facilitating legitimate trade and protects the society and environment from harmful and hazardous goods and services. The body also through Domestic Taxes Division administers and enforces the Taxation Act, VAT Act and the Customs and Excise Act.

Recently, Shirieesh Betgiri has been in the news resisting reforms at the company.

Part of the order read; “This Order restrains you the Defendants either by yourself, your servants or agents or otherwise by whosoever from implementing and effecting your Resolutions of the 7h of April, 2023 until
a further order of this Court or until the final determination of the matter herein.”

Following this Injunction, members of staff cannot access their salaries.

Greenbelt Authority (GBA) which is in joint venture with AUM Sugar Allied Limited recently announced firing of Betgiri as its board chairperson and appointed new Board of Directors which saw ropping in of a well known lawyer Wester Peter Kosamu as its Executive Chairperson and Mr Apoorva Roy as its Acting Chief Executive Officer for Salima Sugar Company Limited with effect from April 8, 2023

In a statement, GBA through its investment arm Greenbelt Holding Limited(GBHI) appointed the following as new Board Members: Professor Betchani Tchereni, Eric Dudley Chizungu, Monasyile Mhango, Engineer Geoffrey Mamba, Dr Sachim Nikam, Mr Prachant Sharma, Mr Vikas Hirawat, Mr Nitin Ranbhise, Mr Vipul Kulkani and Mr Shridar Pulate.

In the corporate universe, the Executive Board Chairperson serves as a strategic link between management and the board of directors.

Meanwhile the inter-parties hearing to extend the injunction or not is scheduled on Tuesday 9th May, 2023 before High Court Commercial Division in Lilongwe at 9 am.

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