THE Zambia Revenue Authority( ZRA) has exhumed a fiddle
used by importers to smuggle alcohol into the country by concealing it under coal.
This discovery comes after ZRA interdicted two trucks in Kazungula carrying,202 cases of varied alcoholic drinks, 11 loose bottles concealed under coal fines.
The seized particulars could have led to a loss of over K2.6 million if not intercepted.
The separate trucks had Customs authorization documents pertaining to entrustments of coal fines, which was visible on first sight, but no affirmation was raised for the concealed alcohol.
An alert ZRA Customs officer took interest in authenticating that the truck was indeed carrying coal only but discovered that there was more than what was declared.
It’s apparent that this is an indispensable mode of concealment which was being used to bring in high value/ dutiable goods such as alcoholic drinks as the vessels frequently carry bulk coal from Hwange, Zimbabwe.
ZRA, in collaboration with other government agencies, continues to be watchful to check smuggling of goods and avert other economic crimes.
Taxpayers are thus encouraged to pay their taxes and remain compliant with tax laws in order to avoid corrective enforcement measures including prosecution and forfeiture of goods.
As an institution, our part is to facilitate licit trade and so we will continue to engage taxpayers and players in the business sector to ensure further compliance. We’re available for discussion on importation of goods or any tax issues through our Call Centre line on 4111.
Smuggling is a serious offence under the Customs & Excise Act. Besides depriving the Government of profit for public investment and services, smuggling distorts market prices thereby stealing native businesses of fair competition. With time, this malpractice leads to the collapse of native industries.
ZRA is encouraging the public to report suspected cases of smuggling and tax evasion.