Two senior officers from the Ministry of Mines and Pure Assets, Cassius Chiwambo and Gibson Nyirenda, have been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly receiving bribes to facilitate the renewal of the corporate’s license. Ilomba Granite Mining firm in Chitipa.
A press release from ACB’s senior public relations officer, Egritta Ndala, mentioned the Bureau obtained a grievance in December 2020 alleging that an investor in Ilomba Granite bribed some authorities officers with US$300,000 to have their mining license renewed.
Ministry officers have been discovered to have demanded US$15,000 and obtained US$5,000 plus K500,000 in money to facilitate the method.
Each males have been arrested on Friday and had not been registered on the time of going to press, however Ndala mentioned they might face trial after questioning.
The nation’s mining business is affected by quite a few irregularities and in July alone the federal government demanded $309.6 billion from the Columbia Gem Home in Vancouver, US, as a declare for tax income money owed regarding ruby and sapphire minerals extracted from the Chimwadzulu mine within the Ntcheu district by the subsidiary of the American firm, Nyala Mines Restricted.
A letter from Lawyer Normal Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda to the US firm says the Chimwadzulu hill on which the mine sits has uncommon deposits of uncommon rubies, that are mentioned to be the very best on the planet as a result of they don’t require warmth therapy.
These rubies are mentioned to be 30 to 50 instances rarer than diamonds, therefore their generally greater value than diamonds and the hill additionally has deposits of sapphire – one other uncommon mineral.
The Lawyer Normal mentioned the primary firm to obtain a mineral exploration license for the Chimwadzulu mine was Mineral Exploration Pty Restricted in 1994 – a 10-year license till 2004 and the corporate had 100% overseas fairness %, with York Constancy of Singapore as the main shareholder.
When the license expired, the Lawyer Normal mentioned the federal government was reluctant to resume it en bloc and as an alternative issued a license for under 2 years “as a result of the federal government wished to permit native participation within the mining sector”.
“The federal government has issued a discover to that impact, inviting native participation in mining,” the legal professional common mentioned. “Then Mineral Exploration Pty Restricted, which had been refused renewal of the unique 10-year license, then modified its identify to Nyala Mines Restricted and was granted a 10-year licence.
“The shareholders of Mineral Exploration Pty Restricted remained the identical shareholders of Nyala Mines Restricted. Columbia Gem Home owns Nyala Mines Restricted as a subsidiary.
The Malawian authorities mentioned rubies and sapphires from the Chimwadzulu mine are mined and bought on the worldwide market by Nyala Mines Restricted via Columbia Gem Home in the US, which then sends them to China to be reduce and polished.
The polished ores are then returned to the US and marketed via Trigems, which is a retail outlet for Columbia Gem Home owned by Eric Brauwart.
“Columbia Gem Home has marked the ruby from Malawi as Nyala Ruby. This mark just isn’t identified in Malawi however has been declared worldwide in the identical means as Tanzanite from Tanzania,” defined Chakaka-Nyirenda .
The federal government argued that:
(a) The dishonesty of the American firm modified the identify of the mining firm from Mineral Exploration Pty Restricted to Nyala Mines Restricted to disguise the origin of the corporate i.e. in order that the brand new identify of the corporate sounds native to keep away from suspicion and detection;
(b) He dishonestly exported rubies and sapphires from Malawi;
(c) It has been unjustly enriched by your failure to pay correct Malawi taxes and royalties and because of this you might have turn out to be a constructive trustee for the State of Malawi;
(d) It has did not pursue your funding in Malawi in accordance with worldwide funding regulation and worldwide regulation; and
(d) He was required to account for all unpaid taxes and all good points made on unpaid taxes and royalties.
Thus, Chakaka-Nyirenda identified that the State of Malawi would concurrently take civil motion in opposition to each entities with out additional recourse to them in the event that they did not pay the demanded quantity nor have been required to point how they supposed to pay the sum of cash as said. . .
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