THE Zambia Revenue Authority has destroyed 3,000 bricks of cigarettes worth K1,000,000 which were smuggled into the country.
ZRA corporate communications manager Mumbuna Kufekisa said the cigarettes which were in different varieties were smuggled into the country between last November and July this year.
Kufekisa said the cigarettes were destroyed after the authority obtained a court order to dispose of the consignment.
He said this was done under the Food and Drugs Act and the Public Health Act.
“The two Acts allowed us to destroy the smuggled property through the act of burning. The act of smuggling is costly to the country because government loses a lot of revenue through uncollected taxes and duties,” Kufekisa said.
“If this amount of cigarettes were in one truck, which is an average of a 30 tonne truck, the amount of collectable taxes could have been K1,000, 000, unrebased K1 billion. That’s the amount of money government is losing through illegal smuggling.”
Kufekisa said the consignment may have found itself in the country mainly through illegal crossing of the border where people disguised their groceries while hiding the cigarettes.
He warned smugglers not to engage in illegal activities as the law would catch up with them.
Kufekisa said the authority would not relent in ensuring that all the taxes that were due were collected and remitted to the government.
“The smugglers should know that we are not stopping and we are on top of things. Wherever they are, we will get to them and the law will be applied accordingly,” said Kufekisa.
The Post Zambia