February 20, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
Former President Ernest Bai Koroma’s younger brother has agreed to repay back the sum of One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty-Seven Dollars and Seventy-Five Cents (USD $127, 547.75) in respect of tax evasion.
According to a release from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Thomas Koroma, who is the Managing Director of T&S Company agreed to pay the said amount after entering into a settlement agreement with the commission in respect of investigations into failing to pay tax contrary to Section 48 (1) (d) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 2008.
“After thorough investigations by the ACC, T&S Company of No. 2 Lightfoot Boston Street Freetown and of Villa 55 OAU Village Hill Station Freetown, was found wanting for failing to pay tax, being public funds to wit: GST on consultancy fee received from National Telecommunications Company (NATCOM) in respect of a NATCOM building construction project in the sum of One Hundred and Twenty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty-Seven Dollars and Seventy-Five Cents (USD $127, 547, 75),” the release stated.
According to the agreement reached with the ACC as settlement, Mr. Koroma agreed to pay back in full, the said amount within eight (8) months with effect from 15th November, 2018.
He paid the sum of Forty Thousand United States Dollars (USD $40, 000) at the commencement of the agreement and has also made an additional payments totalling Fourteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Five Dollars and Twenty Eight cents (USD$14, 605,28).
The commission said the remaining amount of Seventy-Two Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-Two Dollars and Forty-Seven Cents (USD $72, 942,47) will be paid to them not later than 30th June 2019.
Within the past seven months, the ACC has recovered over Nine Billion Leones (Le 9, 000,000,000.00); part of which has been accordingly paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The ACC reassured the public of its continued commitment and resolve in ensuring that public funds are protected, and where necessary, recovered.