MASERU — Jackpot Supermarket, which was raided by the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) for tax evasion in August 2011, is now under liquidation, the Sunday Express can reveal.
Webber Newdigate’s Gerhardus Roberts and Saint Claire Cooper are the co-liquidators.
The liquidation started on January 29, almost 17 months after the LRA raid.
In their notice, the liquidators advise creditors or shareholders to direct all enquiries to Roberts at Webber Newdigate offices in Maseru.
The LRA started investigating Yan Xie, a Mosotho businessman of Chinese descent who ran Jackpot Supermarket and a string of retail shops in Maseru, in August 2011 for allegedly owing almost M20 million in unpaid taxes.
An LRA investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity then said the LRA’s compliance department had been monitoring Xie’s tax affairs since mid-2010.
The source told the Sunday Express that the taxman began monitoring Xie’s business transactions because they believed “he is not paying what he really owes as a taxpayer”.
“We suspect he has been understating Value Add Tax (VAT) and income tax obligations for his companies for some time,” he said.
The source added that the LRA suspected that some of the information Xie submitted in his tax returns was not accurate.
“There seems to be a mismatch between what he declares to have imported from South Africa and what he then sells. We suspect some of his declarations at the border are highly understated to avoid paying tax,” he said.
Xie is a shareholder in Meraka Lesotho Abattoir, the country’s only licensed abattoir, and has also been linked to several lucrative government tenders.
The LRA spokesperson, Pheello Mphana, could not be reached for comment. His assistant, Thabang Loko, declined to comment saying he did not have authority to speak on the matter.