By BUUMBA CIMBULU

GOVERNMENT last year could have lost over K9.3 million in unpaid taxes had the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) not intercepted the 62 trucks laden with Mukula logs which were being smuggled to other countries.

Smuggling of Mukula logs has been on the upswing following its demand by other countries and due to its value.

It is estimated that a 40-foot container of Mukula logs fetches about US$16, 000 in some countries while the same quantity fetches between US$30, 000 to US$40, 000 in China.

ZRA commissioner general, Kingsley Chanda disclosed that they intercepted 62 trucks laden with Mukula in 2017 with an approximate value of over K9.3 million.

Mr. Chanda explained that these trucks were currently impounded and under custody at the ZRA premises and other security wings of Government.

“Once investigations are concluded, these trucks will be forfeited to the state,” Mr. Chanda said.

He told the media in Lusaka yesterday that ZRA would not relent to punish smugglers saying they were robbing Government of taxes.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chanda said the five foreign nationals who were recently arrested for smuggling goods valued at K3.6 million would soon appear in court in Nakonde.

ZRA recently arrested five people of Chinese, Burundi and Lebanese nationalities for smuggling goods valued at K3.6 million.

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