The Zambia Revenue Authority has intercepted 50 trucks carrying Ethanol, Cooking oil and Salaula clothes worth K42.3 million in taxes.
The trucks have been issued with seizure notices in accordance with section 141 and 142 Chapter 322 of the Customs and Excise Act for breaking the law.
Out of these trucks, 8 were transporting ethanol but deliberately declared as methanol (methylated spirit) with intent to defraud the state of over K10.9 million in taxes.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda says the Ethanol is 98% alcohol that is used in the manufacturing of high content alcohol known as Tujilijili, Junta and other dangerous alcoholic spirits when diluted.
Mr. Sikalinda said the alcoholic spirits are usually sold cheaply in the streets and in most cases to children with consequential health hazards.
He said Further, 34 trucks currently held at the ZRA Makeni Enforcement Centre were intercepted while transporting cooking oil misclassified as palm crude oil when in fact it is purified cooking oil ready for consumption.
Mr. Sikalinda said related to this fraud, another 8 trucks have been seized at Chanida border and are being transferred to the Makeni Enforcement Centre.
He said this fraud would have led to loss of K24.7 million adding that crude palm oil attracts zero customs duty.
Mr. Sikalinda said the misclassification adversely affects local manufacturers through unfair competition and this destroys the market for local farmers of soya beans and sunflower.
He said finally, 6 trucks have been seized for misclassifying Salaula (second hand clothes) as agricultural pumps with intent to defraud the state of K6.7 million which also attract zero customs duty.
Mr. Sikalinda said some of these trucks were declared as transit goods when in fact they were dumping these goods in the country.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sikalinda said the Authority has released 12 trucks that were impounded after a tip off from transporters while the goods have been seized.
He said the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority, Kingsley Chanda, has invested a lot of money in press adverts asking transporters to report all smuggling activities and these transporters have responded to that appeal by reporting the mismatch between what was on the documents and what was being transported.
Mr. Sikalinda said the identity of these transporters will be protected as promised by the Authority adding that those transporters who do not report these activities risk their vessels being seized and forfeited to the state.