Miners at work. Tanzania government is threatening to revoke the licence of Aureus Company Ltd, a mining firm, over tax evasion. Photo/FILE Nation Media Group
Aureus Company Ltd, which operates two gold smelting plants on the outskirts of Mwanza city in western Tanzania, is accused of evading payment of Tsh12.472 billion (nearly $8 million) in taxes.
Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals Stephen Masele told The EastAfrican that Tanzanian security agencies and Interpol are searching for its owner, Mark Rene Roelandts, in Belgium and Spain, as he is believed to be hiding in one of the two countries.
An audit by the Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency revealed that through false accounting from 2006 to 2010, Aureus understated figures for gold production, exports and profits.
A report of the audit, shows that the company also smuggled a total of 63.27 kg of gold, worth Tsh2.763 billion ($1.758 million) to individuals in the Italian Mafia.
The firm also failed to pay Value Added Tax amounting to Tsh9.085 billion ($5.796 million); Pay As You Earn tax of Tsh252.683 million ($160,838.475) and royalty fees amounting to Tsh371.026 million ($236,023.237) for all operations and gold exports during that period.