By JOHN SAKALA
A-37 year old Clearing Agent has been sentenced to Six months imprisonment for smuggling and forgery by the Nakonde Magistrate Court.
Mary Nakamba, 37, of Nakonde’s Tazara Compound, was on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 found guilty on one count of the offence of making a false declaration contrary to sections 141(1) (d) and 183(1) and (2) as read together with 155(1) and (2) of the Customs and Excise Act, Cap 322 of the Laws of Zambia.
Nakamba was further found guilty on two counts of the offence of uttering forged documents contrary to sections 347 and 352 of the Penal Code Act, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
In count one, facts established before court were that Nakamba falsely declared to the Customs Services at Nakonde that a motor vehicle, namely a Toyota RAV 4, imported by a Royd Mundongo of Lusaka was in transit to Zimbabwe when in fact not thereby, defrauding the Republic of Zambia of revenue in the sum of K37,232.60.
In count two, facts established before court were that she knowingly uttered to Mr Mundongo a forged payment receipt purporting that the same was issued by the Zambia Revenue Authority when in fact not.
And in count three, it was established that she uttered a forged invoice to a Stephen Sikaonga of Nakonde purporting that the same was issued by Be Forward Limited of Japan in respect of the Toyota RAV 4 imported by Royd Mundongo when in fact not.
In count one, Nakamba was sentenced to pay a fine amount of K5, 000 and was ordered to refund Mr Mundongo a total sum of K30, 100, an amount she received to pay taxes.
In count two and three, Nakamba, in each count was sentenced to six (6) months simple imprisonment but that the sentences will run concurrently from the day of sentencing.
The motor vehicle has also been seized and forfeited to the State.
The Zambia Revenue Authority has made it clear that all cases of smuggling will lead to complete seizure of goods and the vessel such as truck, car and motor bike. Both the goods and the vessel will be forfeited to the State without compensation after the statutory period.
In April 2017, ZRA Commissioner General Kingsley Chanda said Clearing Agents involved in facilitating smuggling, under declarations and forgery will have their licenses revoked, while directors and shareholders of the clearing companies will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Mr Chanda said clearing agencies found wanting will have their directors and shareholders blacklisted from doing any customs clearing business in Zambia.
The Authority will also ensure all directors and shareholders of such clearing companies are screened before customs approve or renewal of any clearing license.
The Authority wishes to advise the general public in the entire business chain of importing and exporting goods to take full responsibility and ensure that their business partners are genuine and doing the right thing.
This is according to a media release by ZRA Corporate Communications Manager Topsy Sikalinda.