CHALI MULENGA, Sesheke
THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has seized beer and other assorted groceries valued at K524,333 which were being smuggled into the country through Katima Mulilo border post in Sesheke district in Western Province.
And ZRA has also seized and forfeited to the State five trucks and two mini buses which were used in the smuggling exercise.
ZRA corporate affairs manager Topsy Sikalinda said the authority would have lost K423,216 in unpaid duties and taxes through the smuggled goods.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Mr Sikalinda said the authority is concerned about the rampant smuggling through Katima Mulilo border post in Sesheke.
“Early this month, a truck was coming from Namibia, the truck passed through the scanner and it was observed on the scanner image that the truck had two separate compartments,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda said it was established during the authority’s physical inspection that the second compartment had assorted liquor that was being smuggled into the country.
“In the first compartment, the beer was properly declared and the importer will be given [the goods] after paying the right duties and taxes,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda said the regional enforcement team also intercepted two Toyota Regius mini buses which were coming from Sesheke carrying 168 and 138 cases of smuggled autumn harvest valued at K45,005.
Mr Sikalinda said the seized mini buses are modified to suit the smuggling business.
“I wish to inform the public that ZRA has purchased additional tools and equipment including motor vehicles. ZRA has also employed a number of customs officers, these resources have been deployed to various parts of the country and we have since stepped up our enforcement activities,” he said.
Mr Sikalinda said ZRA commissioner general Kingsley Chanda has issued circular order number one which states that: “All smuggled goods will be seized and forfeited to the State.”
He said the clearing agents involved in the smuggling will have their licenses revoked while their directors will prosecuted.
“We wish to encourage all importers and exporters to make correct declaration to customs to avoid losing their goods and vehicles as a result of the false declarations and or smuggling,” Mr Sikalinda said.