Charges dropped against CCECC

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The Attorney General’s office has dropped the criminal investigation into tax evasion and forgery allegations against Chinese multinational company CCECC and its manager. ERCA had accused the company of forging receipts and evading taxes.
In a letter written to the company, the Federal Police, ERCA and the prosecution department of the Office the Attorney General, Brhanu Tesgaye, said the criminal investigation was dropped after an agreement was reached with stakeholders.
The Federal Police, ERCA and Attorney General discussed the issue and came to a joint conclusion to drop the charges based on the large amount of mega projects the company is conducting.
After the joint meeting ERCA wrote an official letter to the Attorney General saying the CCECC had paid the taxes the Authority requested.
The company paid 266 million birr in taxes after the appellate tribunal of the Authority deducted half of the amount from the initial decision 10 months ago. That amount would have been 446.4 million birr.
The company was accused by the ERCA of evading 266 million birr in VAT, 14.5 million birr in share profit tax and 165 million birr in profit tax.
Brhanu rationalized his decision by saying they were taking a less draconian approach to conducting justice. The Attorney General Establishment Proclamation gives the Attorney General power to order a criminal suit in the interest of the larger public.
“We will lessen tax and corruption cases if the suspects are willing to return the government’s money,” he said. “I believe the release of both tax and corruption suspects is appropriate if they are willing to return the money taken,” he told Capital.
The CCECC is involved in many huge projects including industrial park development.
The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) is a state owned construction and engineering company which is known for developing industrial parks. The company constructed the Hawassa industrial park with USD 246 million and the , Kombolicha and  Meqelle parks and the ongoing Bahir Dar industrial park.