Leonoil Sets the Record Straight on Jaffer Zeghir’s Intended Tax Evasion

Leonoil Company Limited, a reputable petroleum marketing entity in Sierra Leone, wishes to address the misinformation campaign in relation to a transaction it conducted three years ago with SKM Enterprise led by the Chief Executive Officer, Jaffer Zeghir.

This move comes in the wake of years of malicious publications against the company and its Chief Executive Officer, Ibrahim Cole. The publications have taken liberty with the truth and mislead the public on the facts and implications associated with the claims made.

It was disclosed that three years ago, Jaffer Zeghir paid for 430,000 litres of fuel of which 230,000 litres were uplifted. Several calls to Jaffer Zeghir were made to inform him of an impending change of price by the Government of Sierra Leone via the National Revenue Authority and a plea was made to him to collect the remaining 200,000 litres with immediate effect.

Jaffer Zeghir informed Leonoil that his stations and his bulk road vehicles (trucks) were completely full and that he was unable to receive an additional product at that time. As per the usual operating procedure, staff at Leonoil Company Limited advised him of the importance of receiving the remaining product prior to the Government change or he will have to pay the difference of the Government-imposed increase.

Following the change, several attempts were made to refund the money for the uncollected 200,000 litres to Jaffer Zeghir because he refused to pay the Government-imposed increased price. All attempts were rejected.

It should be noted that all entities including State House, foreign Embassies, mining conglomerates, NGOs and the everyday consumer acknowledges and operates within these rules set forth by the Government of Sierra Leone.

The standard over the last 40 years has been, when the price goes up on undelivered products the difference is paid by the buyer, when the price goes down on undelivered products the difference is reimbursed by the supplier to the buyer. These positions have been made clearly to the courts and examples of the National Revenue Authority enforcing collections where these rules are flouted have also been presented.

After a long-drawn litigation, a court ruling was given against Leonoil and exempting Jaffer Zeghir and SKM from paying the taxes due to the Government.

Due to the egregious ruling an appeal against the decision of the High Court was filed in the Court of Appeal.

It was also revealed that the Appeal Courts has not commenced the hearing, hence the news that is making the rounds that Leonoil has lost the case in court is totally erroneous.

Leonoil has filed an appeal in good faith with the strong conviction that the current ruling goes against the Government of Sierra Leone tax laws and it also sets an example that Jaffer Zeghir can get away with tax evasion due to the several influences he continues to use in threatening and intimidating the Staff and Management of Leonoil Company Limited.

It must be known that Leonoil stands on the side of the law, on the side of fairness and on the side of integrity.


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