The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) following a tip from the public, intercepted smuggled bales of sugar concealed in five truckloads of salt that were being imported into the country through Mwanza Border on Monday February 11.

In the operation, MRA seized a total of 527 bales of smuggled sugar from four different individuals. 179 bales belonged to a Mrs Bwanali, 99 bales to Martin Chibale, 119 bales to Mercy Banda Bauleni and 130 bales to an individual so far only identified as Thoko.

Importation of sugar requires an Import Licence issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

MRA’s Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma said smuggling is a serious offence under the Customs and Excise Act, and goods imported without licence are liable to forfeiture.

“The smuggled sugar and the conveyances have been seized and the smugglers and the owners of the conveyances will be dealt with in accordance with the Customs and Excise Law.

“The Malawi Revenue Authority continues to step up its law enforcement efforts by actively detecting contraband and combating smuggling,” he said.

Besides depriving the government of revenue for public expenditure, smuggling distorts market prices thereby depriving traders of fair competition which might lead to the collapse of local industries.

Members of the general public are encouraged to work together with Malawi Revenue Authority to report all illegal importations of sugar and any other products into the country.

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