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Five arrested over EBM scam

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Kigali: Police have arrested five people suspected of forging Electronic Billing Machines (EBM) receipts to claim VAT refund from Rwanda Revenue Authority. The suspects identified Bonaventure Dusingizimana, Celestin Nibivugire, Emmanuel Bimenyimana, Yannick Muneza and Emmanuel Nahayo Nkusi, were arrested following a tip off from the taxation collection body.

According to the police, preliminary investigations have since pointed at four companies involved in the scam; Bondas Company, Orange Machinery, Optimum and Moonlight companies.

According to the Central Region Police Spokesperson Superintendent of Police (SP) Emmanuel Hitayezu, three of those companies (Orange Machinery, Optimum and Moonlight) had acquired forged EBM receipts from Bondas Company bearing the same items, same prices, issued at the same specific time. They were using the receipts to claim a tax refund from RRA.

Precisely, reference numbers on the forged receipts were the same. Each of the company attempted to make a tax reclaim using receipt number 2031 bearing items worth Rwf 3.3 million with VAT of Rwf 500,000.

The same applied to receipt numbers 2000 and 2027 bearing items worth Rwf 1.5 and Rwf 6.6million with a VAT value of Rwf 228,000 and Rwf 1.1million respectively.

The owners of the companies (Orange Machinery, Optimum and Moonlight companies) that attempted to claim VAT refund had acquired the receipts from Bondas Company.
SP Hitayezu commended efforts in overcoming illegal business activities, and for facilitating the apprehension of the alleged fraudsters.

“This should serve as an example to those in the business community who are planning to indulge in such activities. Sooner or later we shall catch up with them and they will face the law,” he said.

He added that such activities impede the country’s development agenda and warned the business community against getting involved in activities that undermine the economy.

Reacting to the arrest, the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Taxpayer Services at Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Drocella Mukashyaka advised that; “People should ensure they are issued with receipts that correspond with the items that they have bought.”

“Also, whenever you buy an item, verify if the receipt you’ve been given bears the exact amount and items you bought and also in the names of the seller,” said Mukashyaka.

She observed that there incidences where some people acquire EBM receipts yet they have not bought a single item. “Normally, the intention here is to falsely claim VAT refund but the systems are built in a way that, such shoddy transactions are detected and that’s why we advise people to refrain from this malpractice.”

If found guilty, the five suspects who are currently held at Kicukiro Police stations risks a jail sentence of up to two years and a fine equal to the evaded tax as stipulated in article 369 of the penal code. (End)


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