By Yamiko Banda
The Zambia Revenue Authority -ZRA- has intercepted nine trucks for suspected conspiracy to defraud the state of over 2-point 5 million kwacha in taxes.
The trucks which entered the country through Victoria falls border post in Livingstone were declared to have been carrying Generator sets which do not attract any duty when they were carrying assorted wooden furniture which attracts up to 40 percent duty.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda says the offences range from misclassification, under valuation’s, origin fraud, forgery and failure to report within a stipulated time as per customs order procedure contrary to the laws of Zambia
Mr. Sikalinda says the Authority has since recommended for forfeiture without compensation in accordance with the Commissioner Generals’ memo on the treatment of smuggling cases.
He says the Authority has further suspended the License for the clearing agent and recommended for complete revocation of the license.
And Speaking in an interview with ZNBC News in Lusaka, Mr. Sikalinda has also revealed that Government will restrict the use of the Victoria falls border post for commercial cargo or vehicles above 16 tons effective March 1st this year.
He said the measure is meant to protect government revenue because smugglers prefer to use the border post due to its lack of inspection facilities and non-presence of scanners to check all the goods.
Mr. Sikalinda has since urged all trucks above 16 tons to use other entry points like the Kazungula boarder post, while those who wish to use this entry point with cargo above 16 tons can use rail.
Meanwhile, Mr.Sikalinda said a group calling themselves Victoria falls border Clearing Agents Association is not registered or licensed by ZRA.
He says they are smugglers who are in the habit of pretending to be clearing agents when their goods are intercepted.