Malawi Revenue Authority impounds K40m worth copper wires: Destination Tanzania

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has impounded a 15-tonne truck-load   registration number  BP 4230 which carried copper wire and copper scraps worth about K40 million at Kaporo  in the northern border district of Karonga heading to Tanzania.

MRA Deputy Director for Corporate Affairs, Steven Kapoloma, said the truck was intercepted following a tip.

Kapoloma said the goods were concealed under animal hides worth K750, 000.

According to Kapoloma, the truck was travelling without proper documentation to transport the goods.

“We acted upon a tip from well wishers that a truck carrying animal hides is going to Tanzania but also had the copper wires in it,” said Kapoloma.

Kapoloma: MRA seized the truck
Kapoloma: MRA seized the truck

“A physical check on the 15-tonne van revealed that it did not only have animal hides worth K750,000 but also 320 bags containing copper wires and copper scraps estimated at K40 million,” said Kapoloma.

Kapoloma identifiedthe owner of vehicle as Erick Banyana of Box 15, Dowa and Rose Kapesa owner of hides of Box 31383, Lilongwe..

He said attempted smuggling is in contravention of the Customs and Excise Act which classifies copper as a restricted commodity which requires an export licence.

“The owner of the hides will be punished for attempting to smuggle prohibited goods while the transporter will also be punished for conveying smuggled and prohibited goods outside Malawi contrary to the same section of the Act,” Kapoloma said.

He said so far the three seizures have been issued; one for the owner of vehicle for aiding smuggling, a second one for the hides which were used to conceal restricted goods and also the copper which was attempted to be smuggled out of Malawi.

Kapoloma warned the importers and business people that smuggling or conveying smuggled goods, be it imports or exports, is a very serious offence and when caught the Authority will punish the offender accordingly.

He then appealed to the members of the general public and anyone who is aware of the malpractices to report to MRA offices or the Police immediately saying will be rewarded handsomely.

The offence attracts a minimum fine of of 30 percent of the value of the smuggled goods and a maximum fine of ten times the value of smuggled goods or three  years imprisonment with hard labour.

Early this week Police also intercepted six trucks carrying 166 bales of smuggled tobacco in the western border district of Mchinji on their way to Zambia.

Police arrested 18 people, one a Zambian national, in connection with the incident.

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