Afghanistan frees Supreme staff arrested over tax issues
By Sadaf Shinwari - Sat Jan 19 2013, 9:38 am
Afghan officials said the issue was related to tax payment by the Supreme Global to Afghan government. The company was late to pay tax to government at the beginning however later they reduced to pay taxes to the government anymore.
Deputy Afghan Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari quoted by Radio Free Europe (RFE) said they were forced to arrest a number of the staff of Supreme Global.
Mr. Nazari said, “The issue continued for several years between Afghan finance ministry and Supreme Global and was finally referred to Afghan Attorney General. We followed the issue and Supreme Global at the beginning requested to extend the tax payment period, which was extended for several times but finally we had to arrest their employees.”
He said, “Three employees of Supreme Global including a Canadian Citizen, French Citizen and Afghan were arrested but were freed after they paid taxes.”
A eyewitness quoted by the Wall Street Journal said Afghan security forces arrested the employees of Supreme Global after they refused Afghan Attorney General to pay taxes to the government.
Deputy Attorney General said all foreign companies providing logistics services in Afghanistan must pay their taxes to the government.
He said, “The goods belonging to NATO and ISAF troops are tax exempted based on the agreement between the Afghan government and United Nations however if these companies provide logistics services then they should pay taxes to the government. Supreme Global is providing food and non-food items to US troops in Afghanistan and they must pay tax.”
Mr. Nazari further added supreme has other contracts with several other companies and should pay taxes for those contracts to the Afghan government.
The Supreme Global reportedly paid around $18 million tax to the Afghan government and its employees were freed.