The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has apprehended a truck with a 40-foot container load of safety matches involved in transit fraud scheme with estimated taxes pegged at US$30,000.
ZRA Corporate Communications Manager, Oliver Nzala, said acting on a tip off, an empty truck was intercepted along Great North Road after the cartons of match sticks had been off loaded in Kabwe.
Nzala said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday
He said the match stick boxes were purported to be transiting to Zimbabwe from Nakonde when in fact they were destined for Kabwe at a known business premise.
“The driver of the intercepted truck led ZRA officers to the place where the boxes of safety matches were offloaded and verification by officers revealed that the boxes of safety matches were clearly marked as specifically manufactured for the market in Zambia, on behalf of a named Kabwe based company,” Nzala said.
He said the officers also found a broken ZRA seal at the premises of the importer in Kabwe where the declared transit consignment had been off loaded.
Nzala said the 40-foot container carried about 2,923 cartons of match boxes with estimated taxes pegged at K600,000 based on the guaranteed taxes in Tanzania that were declared at an equivalent of US$30,000.
“This being a clear case of transit fraud, the Authority has impounded the truck bearing registration number AJE 6994 (horse) and ALC 9051T (trailer),” he said.
Nzala said transit fraud was one of the many schemes used by smugglers to evade import duties and taxes associated with importations.
He said the Authority had continued to explore different technology initiatives like the use of Non-Intrusive Inspection that enables inspection of cargo without unloading.
Nzala said all this was in an effort to check on leakages that continued to frustrate mobilization of revenue.
“ZRA encourages all taxpayers to pay their fair share of taxes and remain complaint with tax laws in order to avoid punitive enforcement measures including prosecution and forfeiture of vehicles conveying smuggled goods,” he said.
Nzala added that this would ensure that there was fair competition by traders within the various industries or sectors.
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