The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has intercepted 4 more trucks carrying assorted lotions worth over 1.7 million Kwacha.
The consignments were declared at Chanida Border as cleaning materials by using an additional procedure code for Chipata General Hospital hence enjoying an exemption from taxes.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda however said alert ZRA officers intercepted the consignments in Katete and inspected the trucks that had assorted body lotions contrary to what was declared as cleaning materials for the hospital.
“Investigations have revealed that this is a pure case of smuggling through False Declaration, False Representation, Misclassifications, Document falsification and abuse of a Taxpayer Identification Number (TPIN) contrary to the customs and excise Act Cap 322 of the Laws of Zambia” Mr Sikalinda explained.
Mr. Sikalinda Said that with COVID 19 making revenue collection a challenge, the authority is now focused on bridging the revenue gap through Anti-Smuggling, Debt recovery, and Audits as part of the strategy.
He stated that the results are already being recorded because, in the last two months, various consignments have been intercepted and seized in line with zero tolerance to smuggling.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sikalinda has disclosed that the authority has successfully managed to prosecute a clearing agent of Nakonde who was jailed for various smuggling related offenses.
The ZRA Corporate Communications Manager is optimistic that more jail sentences are expected because the Authority has resolved to prosecute all offenders in the courts of law.
Mr. Sikalinda said that the Authority will continue with the fight against smuggling and tax evasion and punishing offenders.
“When the Commissioner-General Mr. Kingsley Chanda said that “we shall now be seizing the goods and vessels from smugglers” it was not a joke,” he said.
He has since warned that no one shall be spared in the fight against smuggling and tax evasion.
And Mr. Sikalinda has disclosed that to further demonstrate the authorities seriousness, ZRA has today donated about 494, 825 kg various consignments of seized mealie meal and maize amounting K 1.3 million kwacha and 24,552 litres of cooking oil worth about 700 Thousand Kwacha to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit under the vice president’s office.
He explained that this is all being done in line with the provisions of the customs and excise act cap 322 of the laws of Zambia which empowers the Commissioner-General to donate items to the government or deserving charitable organizations in line with the provisions.
Mr. Sikalinda disclosed that all the donated consignments were intercepted in various parts of the country for smuggling related activities and he’s hopeful that smugglers will now seriously desist from this vice that has potential to weaken the Zambian economy.