THE Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has intercepted four trucks in Katete carrying lotions registered as cleaning materials for Chipata General Hospital when in fact not.

And ZRA has donated over 24,553 litres of seized cooking and 494,825 kilograms of maize and mealie meal to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) as part of its fight against smuggling.

In a statement, Tuesday, ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda stated that smuggling would not go unpunished.

“The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has once again intercepted 4 trucks carrying assorted lotions worth over 1.7 million kwachas. 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. Alert ZRA officers intercepted the consignments in Katete and inspected that trucks with was 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,” Sikalinda stated.

Sikalinda stated that in the last two months, various consignments had been intercepted and seized in line with the authorities zero tolerance to smuggling.

“With Covid 19 making revenue collection as challenge, The Authority is now focused on bridging the revenue gap through Anti-Smuggling, Debt recovery and Audits as part of the strategy. The results are already being recorded because in last two months, various consignments have been intercepted and seized in line with zero tolerance to smuggling. Among them, 2 trucks of alcoholic beverages one in Chirundu that was declared as onions, another in Lusaka declared as cabinets for ministry of education. Two trucks with cooking oil which has already been donated to various government hospitals and charitable organizations,” he stated.

He stated that the authority has successfully managed to prosecute a clearing agent of Nakonde who was jailed for various smuggling related offences.

And Sikalinda announced that the authority had donated various consignments of seized mealie meal and cooking oil costing about K2 million.

“To further demonstrate our seriousness, allow me to announce that the Authority is today donating 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 K700,000 to the Disaster Management and Mitigation unit under the vice president’s office. 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 government or deserving charitable organizations in line with the provisions. All these consignments were intercepted in various parts of the country for smuggling related activities. We are hopeful that smugglers will now seriously desist from this vice that has potential to weaken the Zambian economy,” stated Sikalinda.