MTN Tax Dispute: Safaritec sacums to pressure

Gra Mtn Safari
Gra Mtn Safari

Weeks ago when Techgh24 started investigating Safaritech Ghana Limited, the company that claimed MTN Ghana hid revenue from Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) between 2014 and 2018, we looked them up on Google Map and they were nowhere to be found.

But suddenly, Safaritech Ghana Limited has appeared at a Spintex address on Google Map, even though on their website, which is currently offline, they claimed to be located at a Kanda address.

Throughout the Techgh24 investigation about Safaritech, every information found on them points to a dodgy and shady entity which cannot be trust, and yet that is the company GRA paid with taxpayer money to audit its biggest and most decorated taxpayer, MTN Ghana.

Safaritech allegedly found that MTN hid 30% revenue from GRA between 2014 and 2018. Even though a more credible and globally reputed audit firm, KPMG found Safaritech’s work to be untenable, GRA still slapped MTN with a tax liability and penalties of over GHS8.2 billion.

MTN has disputed the back tax and is in talks with GRA, while Techgh24 has been looking at who Safaritech is.

Weeks of investigations have revealed a number of very worrying details about Safaritech.

Firstly, they claimed to have an office at E68/9B Ablade Close in Kanda, Accra. But a visit to that address showed it was a Boutique.

Secondly, they claimed to be a subsidiary of Safaritech Kenya with headquarters in London. But checks revealed they have been dissolved in London since March 2021.

A closer look at their registration history in London revealed that they kept only virtual addresses, which they changed three times, but never really had an operational office there. Their bank account remained dormant with only £100 from registration in June 2016 to dissolution in March 2021.

They also claimed to be “a base of IMF, World Bank, UNDP and GIZ” in Africa with over 20 years of experience in telecoms auditing. But till date none of entities have confirmed having any relationship with Safaritech, and it has also deleted its website which had those claims, since Techgh24 disclosed who they were.

Techgh24 also found that in Kenya, it’s homeland, there is no specific company website for Safaritech, but just an online directory which listed Safaritech Kenya Limited as a company in General Business with only a street address and a phone number online.

Now all of a sudden SAFARITECH GHANA LIMITED has showed up on Google Map and they are located at Spintex, not Kanda.

Even though Safaritech claims to have performed telecoms revenue assurance and audit services in 32 countries, it is only in Ghana that it designed a website – and made all kinds of claims just to win the GRA job. But that website is now offline.

This is the entity Ghana’s tax collector decided to employ, pay with taxpayer money, and take their verdict against MTN as sacrosanct.

Several observers have said that GRA should be worried about the shady and dodgy characteristics of Safaritech, unless some people at GRA and in government have interests other than revenue assurance for Ghana in this whole questionable enterprise.

They think this whole thing is is too shameful and it is time GRA shuts it down and saved itself the embarrassment.

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