The Zambia National Service (ZNS) in Chililabombwe have impounded a truck carrying 1200 bags of mealie meal which was about to be smuggled into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
And Chililabombwe District Commissioner Roy Ngosa has warned people involved in smuggling activities via Chililabombwe that an anti-smuggling task force in the district is working round the clock to curb the vice.
The Tanzanian Truck bearing registration number T628 BDV carrying Bwino mealie meal brand of Kitwe’s Chimwemwe Township was intercepted at Konkola checkpoint along the Chililabombwe –Kasumbalesa main road.
ZNS Copperbelt Commanding Officer Chishala Mulenga said the truck which was intercepted on Saturday night was purportedly carrying mining equipment into the DRC when it was actually mealie meal laden.
“So far, we have intercepted three Tanzanian trucks. It is a cartel as the trucks have fake ZRA seals from the same batch. I want to warn all the drivers of the containerized trucks that we shall be opening the seals,“ he intimated.
Lt. Col. Mulenga appealed to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to investigate the matter as other goods besides mealie meals may be smuggled in the same manner depriving the country of revenue.
He said the officers became more suspicious after the driver of the truck attempted to bribe them with US $ 150 prompting them to summon ZRA officers to facilitate the opening of the seals for the truck.
The driver who pretended to be cooperative to the officers managed to escape leaving the truck and the mealie meal at the checkpoint.
Meanwhile, Mr Ngosa said the fact that three trucks attempting to smuggle mealie meal into the DRC have been intercepted within a month is an indication that efforts being made to curb smuggling are bearing fruit.
The District Commissioner, who praised the men and women in uniform, said there is a suspected syndicate in mealie meal smuggling as all the recently impounded trucks were of Tanzanian origin.