However, the Customs Law also mandates any Customs office be it a border or Inland Station to sanction a snap roadblock at any time of the day if there is suspicion of an offence.
It is worth noting that due to smuggling, the Government cannot collect the much needed revenue for implementing various development projects such as the construction of schools, health facilities, roads and bridges and others.
If smuggling is not checked, the Government may not adequately provide social services like medicine in public hospitals and clinics, learning and teaching aids in schools, subsidized farm inputs to farmers or salaries for civil servants such as teachers, doctors, nurses, the army, the police and the judiciary.
Smuggling may provide a platform for unfair business competition among traders and manufacturers in the country. This is because smugglers would charge low prices on their goods because of non-payment of international trade taxes. The other effect of smuggling is that smugglers can bring substandard goods which could be a health hazard to the society.
This, therefore, explains why MRA has intensified enforcement measures including the mounting of road blocks at different points along some roads in order to deal with smugglers.
During the last financial year, that is 2018/19, for example, MRA made 547 seizures of smuggled goods which included motor vehicles. This resulted in MRA collecting over K1.84 billion both in taxes and fines.
Let us also not forget that road blocks are also mounted to protect those law abiding citizens who duly clear their goods at the border so that nobody pay less or more taxes.
Against this background, the Authority is appealing to all patriotic citizens of the country to clear their goods at the border to avoid being embarrassed once caught. The Citizenry may also provide information that may lead to interception of smuggled goods to the following numbers: Blantyre FAST on 0888951037, Lilongwe FAST on 0888951137 and Mzuzu on 0888251448. Anyone who provides credible information will be awarded accordingly.
The Head of Corporate Affairs,
P/Bag 247, Blantyre.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone: +265 888 986 200
The Manager, Taxpayer Education
P/Bag 247, Blantyre.
Phone: +265 888 958 220
Learn more about MRA roadblocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lJn0j-mnUc