MTN GH¢8.2bn tax: Safaritech London HQ dissolved since March 2021

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Safaritech Ghana Limited, the company whose work led to MTN Ghana being slapped with a controversial tax liability of over GH¢8.2billion, has had its headquarters in London dissolved since March 16, 2021.

Additionally, the company has only maintained virtual addresses in London since 2016; and also had a dormant account with only £100 balance since inception till its final dissolution on March 16, 2021.

On its website, www.safaritech.biz – which is now not accessible, the company claimed to be “a base of the IMF, GIZ, UNDP and ARTN” with its headquarters’ office in London, where it was registered as Safaritech Limited with Company Number 10287352.

But hours after Techgh24 put out the information about its alleged relationship with the IMF and claim to be headquartered in London, the company has taken down its website claiming it is doing updates.

Techgh24 earlier wrote to the IMF, UNDP and GIZ seeking to understand the relationship, if any, between them and Safaritech. None of them have responded as yet.

Checks on Wayback Machine (web.archive.com) brought back some of the deleted details on its Ghana website. The street address is E68/9B Ablade Close, Kanda; email address is [email protected] and phone number is 0205802053.

But the new information now emerging is that Safaritech’s headquarters in London has long been closed down.

Per the company’s filing and dissolution history, it was first incorporated in the UK on June 20, 2016 – with Andrew Gathuo Chege from Kenya as the only director, and it was dissolved on March 16, 2021.

Safaritech was dissolved in London on March 16, 2021

The company actually applied for its name to be struck out of the companies’ register in London on December 8, 2020, which was then gazetted on December 15 and finally effected on March 16, 2021.

Shady Virtual Address

Virtual Addresses

Prior to the March 16 dissolution, Safaritech changed its registered office address in London at least twice. It first registered with 4-5 Gough Square London EC4A 3DE England; then on November 26, 2018 it changed to Foframe House, 35-37 Brent Street – London NW4 2EF.

Then on June 10, 2020 it changed the office address again from Foframe House, 35-37 Brent Street – London NW4 2EF England, to Suite G1, Hartsbourne House Delta Gain Watford WD19 5EF, which it maintained till the final dissolution on March 16, 2021.

Checks by Techgh24 on all of the addresses Safaritech stated as its headquarters office in London indicate that those were nothing more than virtual addresses, where ‘shady people’ pay to have their businesses registered but do not necessarily have an office at those addresses.

Dormant Account

Dormant Account had only £100 from day-one till the day of dissolution

The records also show that between June 10 and August 17, 2020, Safaritech went through a series of activities including one appointment, two terminations of appointment, and filing for closure of office until its account actually went dormant before finally applying for shutdown in December the same year.

The company maintained one Hasanain Haji as the one person with significant control, and they didn’t file even one account statement in London, except the dormant one on August 17, 2020, prior to their dissolution.

So by 2019, when the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) said it engaged Safaritech to audit MTN, the company was actually a dormant company in the UK where it claimed to be headquartered – in other words, they were not trading.

The LinkedIn profile of Hasanain Haji indicates he was also the Managing Director of Savanah Goldfields (Ghana) Limited for seven years, between January 2007 and January 2014.

So, this is the company whose work GRA chose to accept over that of the highly-reputed KPMG, and then slap a controversial tax liability on MTN – a company it has for many years rewarded as the highest corporate taxpayer in the country.

MTN is challenging the tax assessment, and Techgh24 has learnt that for the reputational damage and criminal implications of the matter, MTN is not taking the matter lightly at all. Meanwhile, the GRA has put out a statement defending its action in slapping MTN with the tax liability. It is early days yet.

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