Saturday, January 16, 2021

Security companies evade tax and forge documents to get tenders

Some well-known security companies are said to be at the centre of investigations after it emerged that they evade tax and use forged documents to be awarded government and private sector tenders worth millions of pula.
Police recently raided some security companies and impounded forged Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) documents.

It is understood that some of the security companies bribe BURS employees for help to evade tax.
It is alleged that some security companies owe BURS millions.
It is further understood that some security companies have been awarded tenders worth millions of pula, both from government and the private sector, using fraudulent documents.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that a warrant of arrest has been issued for one of the directors whose security company is alleged to be implicated.

The Assistant Superintendent of Gaborone Central Police Station, Lebang Maniki, confirmed to The Sunday Standard that they have launched intensive investigations following the discovery of forged documents belonging to one of the security companies.
“I am not yet in a position to discuss the circumstances surrounding the case because police investigations are still on going, therefore, this might affect our investigations.”

Interviewed by The Sunday Standard, the Chief Security Officer in the Office of the President, Ernest Nthobelang, who regulates and issues licenses to security companies, said his department does not condone any criminal acts from security companies.
He said once a company is found dabbling in such ill acts, their licences would automatically be revoked.

“I am not a happy man because most of the registered security companies do not follow what the Acts want,” he said.
He pointed out that the most common and disturbing thing that most security companies engage in is paying employees the minimum wage.

In some cases, he said, his office has had to intervene and direct that the Department of Labour takes the matter up, adding that some of the cases are pending before the Industrial Court.
Nthobelang said, so far, they have registered over 1 000 security companies in the country and pointed out that action will be taken against those companies that are implicated in criminal activities and that this might lead to the revocation of the licence.
Efforts to speak to the BURS office were futile.

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