The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), has unearthed a scam at Katima Mulilo Border Post, in which some unscrupulous importers smuggled cigarettes worth K6 million into the country.
ZRA in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) intercepted and seized 995 cartons of cigarettes without the necessary tax stamps to prevent government from collecting any duty on it.
The owners of the smuggled cigarettes intended to defraud government of over K1.6 million kwacha in other taxes.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Mumbuna Kufekisa said the cigarettes were brought into the country without the necessary tax.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS last Saturday, Mr. Mumbuna said the consignments of cigarettes were seized in November 2013 and January 2014.
“Sixty cartons of cigarettes were seized on seizure number 5594 of 12th November, 2013 and the other 1, 766 bricks of cigarettes on seizure of 31st January, 2014. The said cigarettes were imported without the requisite cigarettes tax stamps contrary to section 108A of the Customs and Excise Act,” he said.
Earlier, ZRA Station Manager at Katima Mulilo Border Post, Thomas Mulenga said one of the seized consignments had 900 boxes and came from Zimbabwe, purporting to be in enroute to Angola.
Mr. Mulenga said the second consignment of 60 cartons was from China and came into the country through Namibia, while the last consignment contained 1, 766 bricks wrapped in black boxes and the owners abandoned it.
“With cigarettes, if they have been seized and have not been paid for; there is nothing like auctioning, they have to be destroyed. So this whole consignment you are seeing here, we are going to have it destroyed by burning,” he said.
And Sesheke Council Health Inspector Jacob Kaveya said issues of smuggling should not be tolerated at any cost.
Mr. Kaveya said the local authority was working with ZRA to win the battle against smuggling.
He however, said challenges came in due to the Zambezi River, which smugglers used to bring in goods at night.
“People are using boats to bring in goods and we cannot capture them because, we do not conduct operations at night,” he said.