BUMBA CHIMBULU writes
BUSINESS entities should voluntarily pay the right taxes to prevent them from encountering difficulties in conducting their operations, o the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has said.
ZRA said this after it intercepted smuggled alcohol worth K1.5 million which was declared to be enroute to Kenya and yet it was destined for Zambia.
The Authority will not compromise with any individual or business caught in the act of smuggling, warns ZRA acting Corporate Communications Manager, Oliver Nzala.
Mr Nzala said in a statement that ZRA was strongly warning business practitioners, especially importers, to desist from smuggling goods into the country.
“It is very important for anyone involved in the importation and exportation business to pay taxes and avoid smuggling because if they are caught, they will not only face the law but will have their goods and vessels used for transportation seized and forfeited to the State,” he said.
The warning comes after the Zambia Revenue Authority intercepted a truck carrying 3694 cases of assorted alcohol worth K 1.5 million from South Africa.
According to Mr Nzala, the alcohol was declared at the Victoria Falls Border as being in transit to Kenya.
“Verification of documents with neighbouring countries revealed the true destination and importer of the goods as being Zambia.
“ZRA has therefore seized the goods and vessel for the offenses of false representation of documentation and smuggling contrary to Sections 141 and 149 of the Customs and Excise Act,” he stated.
Mr Nzala regretted that besides denying the Government of the much-needed revenue to support development initiatives, smuggling was a very serious criminal offense under the Customs and Excise Act.
“ZRA wishes to advise importers to do justice to themselves by adhering to voluntary compliance and pay the right taxes. This will prevent them from encountering difficulties in doing their businesses,” he said.