2 October 2014 - A mining company’s claim that it is owed a substantial VAT refund in Zambia is impossible to take seriously because of continuing secrecy around an investigation of allegations that the same company evaded a large amount of tax in the country, Christian Aid says today.
Mopani Copper Mines, which is controlled by the multinational commodities giant Glencore, is reported as having suspended some of its copper investments in Zambia – a move it links to its claim it is owed a VAT refund.
“It is difficult to take Mopani’s claim for a VAT refund seriously, given that the same company has been accused of systematic tax evasion in Zambia – something it has always denied,” said a Christian Aid spokeswoman.
“Continuing secrecy around an investigation of those tax evasion allegations makes it impossible to be sure of the true state of the company’s tax account in Zambia.
“The European Investment Bank, which investigated needs to end its secrecy and share with the world what it knows about what really happened.”
The European Investment Bank has so far refused to publish its report into claims in a leaked auditors’ report in 2011 that Mopani was evading tax in Zambia. Christian Aid, Counter Balance and others continue to campaign for the report to be published.
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk