ZRA intercepts bales of used clothes

 ZRA intercepts bales of used clothes

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)  has intercepted a truck laden with 570 bales of used clothing popularly known as salaula on the northern route worth about K700,000.

ZRA corporate communications manager Topsy Sikalinda said the consignment is a case of outright smuggling that contravenes Section 132 and 149 of the Customs and Excise Act of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Sikalinda said the suspects forged customs documents purporting they were issued by the Revenue Authority when in fact not.

He said upon being intercepted, the drivers presented the fake documents but with the advancements in the use of technology by ZRA through the use of the newly introduced Customs Validation System, the officers checked and verified on documents on-site.

“The newly introduced feature on the ZRA systems has already started paying dividends as it is expected to help clamp down on all forged documents. Had ZRA not intercepted this consignment, the Zambian people would have lost about 347,000 kwacha in taxes,” he said.

Mr Sikalinda said smuggling is a big threat to the economic growth of any sector as it creates price distortions, unfair competition and robes the country of much-needed revenue.

He said it is theft and robbery as it deprives the Zambian citizen of much-needed development.

“When we call you smugglers, we are being polite; you are thieves who are robbing the citizenry of the need for medication in hospitals and other social amenities,  Government  announced various initiatives such as free education, increased Community Development Fund at the local level and many other positive initiatives that require tax revenue to be actualized,” he said

Mr Sikalinda also advised people 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.

He said the Authority is on top of the game and are coming after any smuggler.