By Spy Uganda
Following intelligence reports of planned smuggling of phones into Uganda from one of the porus routes in Rwanda, the URA team deployed at the different suspected points.
The operation did not yield results on the first day, however the team did not give up until the smugglers were netted in truck number UAV122C.
“We tracked the saboteurs in the hilly roads where the terrain was treacherous, with a dense mist. We pressed on, knowing that the payoff,” Desmond Lumago, a customs officer in Katuna explained.
The truck was later towed to the URA station in Katuna and here 3060 pieces of ITEL phones where discovered, concealed in boxes.
In related news, more than 3000 liters of cooking oil were seized by the URA enforcement team in Mbale during an operation that was carried out at the beginning of the month.
While conducting a tax engagement with selected shops in Mbale City, the team spotted a vehicle registration number UAS122J loading various products, including cooking oil. Out of curiosity, the team initiated spot checks on both the vehicle and adjacent shop to ascertain if the products were duly stamped.
While most of the gazetted products were properly stamped, one notable exception was Star Fry fortified refined vegetable cooking oil, found in significant quantities. Cooking oil is one of the 13 products gazetted to bear digital tax stamps. Others include beer, sugar, beverages like soda, and water, among others.
Upon engaging the owner, identified as Kiden Fair, it was established that the absence of tax stamps on the cooking oil was an unintended oversight. The trader further explained that they were not the sole distributor of Best Fry cooking oil in Mbale City.
Consequent verification of the merchandise revealed the following:
101 Jerry cans * 20 Liters
53 Jerry cans * 10 liters
140 boxes * 24 sachets * 500 ml
This finding prompted the team to perform spot checks on more product distributors in the city. NAIYA Enterprises LTD, an equally large distributor was found with 62 Jerry cans and 2 boxes of unstamped Star Fry fortified refined vegetable cooking oil.
According to Section 62B of the Tax Procedures Code Act, a taxpayer who fails to affix or activate tax stamps on prescribed goods commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand one hundred currency points, imprisonment not exceeding ten years, or both.