Customs destroys illicit goods

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Katima Mulilo

Contraband cigarettes with a value in excess of N$5 million were destroyed by the Directorate of Customs and Excise.

According to Wilbard Poniso, the deputy director of customs and excise for the north-eastern regions, the smuggling of goods has cost government immense revenue from dutiable goods.

“Cigarettes and alcohol smuggling is a worldwide predicament and Namibia is not an exception. These illegitimate activities of some of our unscrupulous business people deprive the Namibian nation of much-needed revenue in respect of non-payment of excise duties,” he said.

Poniso said that collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies both in Namibia and in neighbouring countries have had a positive impact, particularly with fraudulent declarations said to be rife at border crossings.

“Stakeholder collaborations have yielded positive results such as rooting out fake declarations. Some people use addresses of bogus foreign companies when transporting illicit goods. Customs has had major successes in detecting illicit imports at the border and even in inland areas,” divulged Poniso.

He cautioned that illicit goods do not only affect government coffers but also have the potential to adversely affect people’s health.

“Illicit goods not only harm the fiscus but pose risks to people’s health. I appeal to all our law-abiding citizens to always cooperate with customs and other law enforcement agencies, in their efforts to combat these illegal activities,” implored the customs and excise deputy director.

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