Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Chinese firms under scrutiny for corruption activities in Africa

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While Chinese companies are feeling the pressure of anti-graft
and tax evasion crackdowns at home, some are also facing similar campaigns abroad as African countries try to stamp out corrupt practices.

In the past three years, a number of Chinese-owned companies have landed in trouble with investigating agencies for tax evasion.

Others have been accused of bribing their way to winning lucrative infrastructure contracts, on a continent that has some of the world’s most corrupt countries, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2018, compiled by Transparency International, an international non-governmental organisation.

In Kenya’s crackdown on corruption under President Uhuru Kenyatta, Chinese-owned companies are among about 600 being investigated over alleged tax evasion and bribery.

There is a similar story in neighbouring Uganda, whose tax agency last year released a list of suspected cases that linked several Chinese firms to fraudulent tax activities. Of 148 firms on the list, 93 were foreign-owned, of which at least 90 had Chinese directors. The firms were accused of using fictitious invoices to indicate business transactions when there was no genuine supply or movement of goods.

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