Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) officers have impounded over 30 Kenyan registered trucks for smuggling goods at Busia border.
The trucks were impounded while crossing porous points at two villages of Sofia and Marachi in Eastern division of Busia municipality. Most of the trucks were fully loaded with bags of maize.
Dunkan Kakonge, the URA manager in-charge of Eastern region says that the trucks were seen crossing into neighboring Kenya with undeclared goods meant to be cleared at Busia one-stop border post before they proceed.
Kakonge noted that some traders who do cross border trade have developed a trick of using the main entrance to enter into Uganda side but after loading goods they instead exit through the porous points a practice which is illegal.
“Those trucks that enter the country through the main entrance are scanned in our system, we expect them to again exit using the same entrance where they are supposed to be cleared before they proceed to the neighboring countries,” Kakonge said.
He condemned the act and warned traders to desist from the illegal practices of smuggling in the area. The practice also contravenes with the East Africa community trade policy in the region.
The traders whose goods were impounded will be charged with smuggling and the tax body will ensure the trucks are fully cleared before they can cross.
James Maloba, a resident of Busia says that URA needs to work hard to sensitize people because most traders still have in them a mentality of smuggling.
Moses Were, one of the traders says that the URA enforcement just impounded trucks loaded full of maize that were parked at Sofia, yet they were not going anywhere.
Frank Kasumba, the manager Busia produce market says that URA should have allowed trucks loaded with maize to proceed because in his view, maize products are among listed goods that are not meant to be taxable.
The URA enforcement operation he said, has affected produce business in the market because their clients are no longer coming.
The trucks remained parked in the parking yard at Busia one stop boarder post over the weekend.