A Botswana-based Zimbabwean businessman, Patrick Dowera, is reportedly in trouble after he allegedly defrauded that country through tax evasion.
According to reports from Botswana, Dowera, who runs Landscape Decorators Botswana (Pty) Limited, was arrested recently and charged by the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) for tax evasion and fraud.
Dowera appeared before chief magistrate Lenah Mokibe on Friday facing five counts of fraud and was remanded out of custody on P100 000 bail pending the setting of the next hearing date.
Dowera’s troubles allegedly started last year when the taxman visited his company only to discover he was not remitting income and value added tax to the responsible authorities.
Investigations established he used a fraudulent passport to acquire work and residence permits and the documents had since been withdrawn.
Following the unearthing of the alleged scam, at least 10 of Dowera’s vehicles all valued at around P1, 230 million, had been impounded by the tax collector.
Officials from BURS, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes as well as Botswana Police, who were involved in the tripartite investigation, have been lined up to testify against Dowera in court.
Some evidence in the case is allegedly implicating a network of police officers, bank tellers and government officials who allegedly facilitated Dowera’s business transactions.
The prosecution was applying for Dowera’s deportation, as his company had been declared insolvent.