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MRA, DRTSS seize 47 vehicles

MRA, DRTSS seize 47 vehicles

Forty-seven motor vehicles, which were smuggled into Malawi and fraudulently registered, have been seized for non-payment of Customs duties and revenue exceeding K488 million recovered. 

The vehicles were seized during a joint operation by the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) in August 2018.

A report on the joint operation states that the exercise was undertaken after discovering that there was an increased number of seized motor vehicles for non-payment of duty. 

The joint operation involved patrols, surveillance, spot checks, compliance history and the use of informants. The MRA and DRTSS teams conducted patrols and surveillance on vehicles suspected to have been dubiously cleared or registered. 

“During the operation a total of 47 motor vehicles were seized for non-payment of duties upon the vehicles being imported into Malawi and one consignment of assorted groceries was also seized for false declaration. 

“Out of 47 vehicles seized, 9 vehicles were seized in Mzuzu, 5 in Blantyre, 13 in the Eastern region and 21 in the Central region. The total assessed duty was K381,099,872.54 and penalties charged were K107,439,184.16,” the report reveals. 

This means that total revenue recovered is K488,539,056.70. 

An analysis of the seizures indicates that 35 of the vehicles were bought locally and were already registered with DRTSS but duty was not paid.
 
The report observes that most of the seized vehicles were owned by car rentals and that there are many vehicles registered with DRTSS but they were not duly cleared. 

BY WADZA OTOMANI

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