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Monday,September 28,2020 06:39 AM

Smugglers overwhelm revenue body

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th April 2010 03:00 AM

THE struggle against smugglers is far from over, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) northern region area enforcement supervisor, warned last week.

THE struggle against smugglers is far from over, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) northern region area enforcement supervisor, warned last week.

By Amazia Dradenya

THE struggle against smugglers is far from over, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) northern region area enforcement supervisor, warned last week.

Lt. Patrick Mwesigye, explained that smugglers had devised new tactics of bringing in contraband goods into the country.

“We have impounded contraband goods worth sh537m in the past two months alone.

“The situation is worsening daily because the smugglers are not sleeping; they are always changing their mode of operation, which we are fortunately learning,” he said.

Mwesigye disclosed that the smugglers had designed chambers on the roof tops of lorries to transport their illegal goods.

“When they reach at the customs, they normally open the lorry doors to deceive the customs officer that there is nothing in the vehicle. We discovered this at Oraba customs in Koboko district,” he said.

Mwesigye said the most items impounded were the traditional Kenyan made contraband supermatch cigarettes, sugar, petrol, oil and rice. “We have realised that other contraband cigarette types have also invaded the market.

“Most of these are Redds, Palmold from the DR Congo, Stella, Rally King, Safari-Kenya and Ugandan cigarettes made for export from South Sudan,” he added.

He said they had impounded five motorcycles, six vehicles and a bicycle transporting contraband goods.
Mwesigye attributed the increased smuggling in the region to the porous border, poor taxation and tax policies of the neighbouring countries.

He also pointed out that the Government signed an agreement with the DR Congo, but the terms have not been implemented.

“It seems the agreement remained between Kampala and Kinshasa because the Congolese custom officers are not aware of this which is a big problem,” Mwesigye moaned.

He said due to this, over sh5b was lost to illegal importers of motorcycles per year in northern region alone.
“At least 10-20 motorcycles are smuggled into the country on daily basis.

“This is a double loss because the fuel they use is also smuggled,” he added.
Mwesigye said they had a target to collect sh4.2b in the north, but about 6% of this is lost to smugglers every month.

Smugglers overwhelm revenue body

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