UA-55300619-1

ZRA, security wings intercept maize, mealie meal worth K2.5 million

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A team of security wings and the Zambia Revenue Authority -ZRA- has intercepted 23 trucks that were being used to smuggle maize and mealie meal worth 2.5 million Kwacha.

ZRA Commissioner Customs Services Sydney Chibbabbuka says of the intercepted trucks, 21 were carrying maize and 2 were carrying mealie meal, destined to leave the country through the Chirundu border.

He said the tax authority will not allow smuggling of maize, mealie meal or maize bran because it borders on national food security.

Addressing the media after inspecting four of the trucks and the contraband in Lusaka today, Chibbabbuka said government has invested heavily in maize production through the Farmer Input Support Program, hence the need to safeguard the produce.

He said the trucks had no clearance from Zambian authorities because of the Statutory Instrument number 64 that restricts export of maize and that the smuggling contravenes the customs and excise Act.

Chibbabbuka also revealed that the trucks and the contraband will be forfeited to the state.

He said 12 drivers have since been detained while some are helping ZRA move the trucks to Lusaka with one having escaped into Zimbabwe with a truck.

And Zambia National Service Chief of Operations Lawrence Katongo warned that officers found wanting will be not be spared because the service has noticed a lapse in security.

Brigadier General Katongo added that the major focus for smuggling of maize and mealie meal was on the Copperbelt but attention has now moved to Southern Region were cases are being recorded.

And Deputy Commissioner of Police – Paramilitary Yobe Luhana reiterated commitment by the police to clamp down on smuggling. -ZNBC

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31