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Police launch wide-scale operations against smuggling

By IGIHE
On 21 September 2021 at 06:32

Rwanda National Police (RNP) has launched wide-scale operations across the country against smuggling as well as trafficking and sell of outlawed products.

The operations started this Monday, September, 20, and targets border points and shops in different parts if the country, according to CP John Bosco Kabera, the RNP spokesperson.

He added that the operations were previously being conducted on a small scale by the RNP Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crimes (ASOC) adding that this is to reinforce the efforts.

"You have been following reports of people arrested with smuggled goods or selling outlawed products, who are paraded. Most of the times these goods and smugglers are intercepted on borderlines and that is why we are scaling up these operations across the country," said CP Kabera.

Majority of the seized smuggled goods, he added, are food flavours, liquors and second-hand clothes and shoes.

Seized outlawed or illicit products include skin bleaching oils and creams, kanyanga (crude gin) and plastic bags.

"The operations will also target markets and shops. Previously, much efforts were put on entry points but owing to the fact that most smugglers use porous borders and in most cases destined for City of Kigali and other markets," CP Kabera said.

He took time to call upon the public to further partner with the Police in these operations against smuggling and other outlawed products.

Taxes, he added, are meant to support the country’s development warning that tax evasion is a crime punishable by law.

Article 266 of the law determining offenses and penalties in general, states that any person, who produces, sells, or prescribes harmful products; cosmetics or body hygiene substance or any other products derived from plants, commits an offence.

Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than two years and a fine of not less than Rwf3 million and not more than Rwf5 million or one of these penalties.

Manufacturing, use, importation or sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items are prohibited under article 3 of law N° 17/2019 of 10/08/2019 relating to the prohibition of manufacturing, importation, use, and sale of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items in Rwanda.

In article 10, any person, who imports plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to the dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items, and to an administrative fine equivalent to ten times the value of those plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items.

In article 11, a wholesaler of plastic carry bags and single use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf700, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags and such items.

In article 12, a retailer of plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items is liable to an administrative fine of Rwf300, 000 and dispossession of those plastic carry bags.

Under article 199 of the East African Community Management Act, which is also applicable in Rwanda, seized smuggled goods and automobile used in smuggling, are auctioned. The driver also faces a fine of US$5000.

Tax fraud

A taxpayer, who commits fraud, is subject to an administrative fine of one hundred percent (100%) of the evaded tax.

With exception to that penalty, the Tax Administration refers the case to the Prosecution service if the taxpayer voluntarily evaded such tax, like through the use of false accounts, falsified documents or any other act punishable by law.

In case of conviction, the taxpayer can be imprisoned for a period between six months and two years.

Article 87 of law N° 026/2019 of 18/09/2019 on tax procedures states that a person who, while intending tax evasion, commits one of the following acts: use of forged documents in his or her accounts; counterfeit and use of documents or materials of the tax administration used for taxation; hiding taxable goods or assets related to business; making a declaration indicating that the taxpayer has not made sales; changing the trade name by a person prosecuted in relation to tax; fraudulent registration of trade under the name of another person; hiding accounting documents from the tax administration or damaging them; use of forged accounting records; commits an offence of tax evasion.

Upon conviction, he or she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than two (2) years and not more than five (5) years.

The operations started this Monday, September, 20, and targets border points and shops in different parts if the country.

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