The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) recently seized 300 buckets of 20 litre cooking oil at Chiponde in Mangochi. The cooking oil is suspected to have been smuggled from neighbouring Mozambique contrary to Section 134 of the Customs and Excise Act.
MRA Director of Tax Investigations, Steven Kajombo said the operation was conducted following a tip from the public.
“Importation of cooking oil for home consumption is restricted and requires an import licence from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism. Without a licence, the commodity is seized and forfeited to the Government,” the director said.
The seizure follows recent reports that some unscrupulous business people were smuggling goods from the neighbouring country and were using local people to keep their smuggled items before taking them to inland trading centres.
The Authority warns all people involved in smuggling and members of the public involved in sheltering or aiding smugglers that such acts are offences as stipulated in Section 132 and 134 of the Customs & Excise Act.
“We are encouraging all Malawians to report tax evasion or smuggling by dialling our Tips Offs Anonymous Service toll-free number 847 for Airtel and TNM subscribers or 80000847 for MTL subscribers,” said Kajombo.
MRA has various initiatives to curb malpractices such as smuggling. The Authority is educating SMEs and cross-border traders through tax clinics to empower them to comply with the revenue laws and take advantage of opportunities that comes with being tax compliant.
The Authority is also engaging communities on the dangers of aiding smuggling and the benefit of reporting smugglers to MRA or the police.
These initiatives and backed by fully-fledged Flexible Anti-Smuggling Teams (FAST) that patrols the country have resulted in the recent interception and seizure of a truckload of vandalised water pipes, metres, telecoms and electricity cables weighing over 2,000 kgs in Mzuzu.
The patrols have also led to seizure of hundreds of smuggled cigarette bricks and 599 bags of 50kg bags of cement that was forfeited to Government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :