CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has seized assorted alcoholic beverages and cooking oil worth K600,000, which was smuggled into the country through Kazungula border.
ZRA senior corporate communications officer Oliver Nzala said the smuggling of the goods would have resulted in the country losing over K300,000 worth of tax revenue.
Mr Nzala said ZRA received information about the four trucks, and officers from the anti-smuggling and compliance unit later intercepted the trucks.
He said after physical inspections, the authority discovered that the vehicles were carrying undervalued goods which had been smuggled into the country.
“The quantity of the goods they declared at the port of entry into the country at Kazungula border post and the quantity that was discovered in the trucks was different. This is a clear case of smuggling of goods through gross under-declaration, which the authority will not tolerate,” he said.
Mr Nzala said one of the trucks declared that it was carrying 1,100 cases of alcohol but during physical inspections, 2,891 were found.
“The goods were seized under section 149 as read together with section 154 of the Customs and Excise Act of the laws of Zambia,” he said.
Mr Nzala told journalists here on Saturday that the four trucks have been forfeited to the state while the goods have been seized.
He said the tax identification number for the smugglers has also been suspended for engaging in the act.
Mr Nzala said the goods that were seized together with the smuggled goods will be released to the rightful owners after paying the appropriate taxes.
“Two trucks belong to Goodline Cargo Logistics while others belong to JHNR Freight Limited and Bweengwa Investment Limited.
“The trucks were intercepted between March 27 and April 3 this year along the Kazungula-Livingstone road by the anti-smuggling and mobile tax compliance team, who did a physical inspection of the trucks,” he said.
Mr Nzala said ZRA will not relent in ensuring that smugglers become aware that the vice is an expensive way of doing business.
He said the authority will also ensure that it brings smuggling to an end.
Mr Nzala said ZRA will continue enforcing the law because the taxes being lost is revenue that should be channelled towards economic development.