MRA procuring drones to end smuggling of goods

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is in the process of procuring drones which are aimed at halting the increasing cases of goods smuggling.

This is according to MRA’s Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma who was speaking on Tuesday August 3 in Blantyre during a New Tax Measures Training for Journalists from the Southern Region under the Blantyre Press Club.

Kapoloma said the idea to procure the drones came amidst increasing cases of illegal importation of goods into the country especially beer where in other cases smugglers take advantage of porous borders.

He said with this modern technology, the tax collecting body will be able to see and detect smugglers and conveyance wherever they are and catch them, a development which he said will help local industries to start making profits and be protected from unfair competition.

“Smuggling of goods is so rampant in our country, so, that’s why we have thought of bringing these drones which will be sent everywhere to detect any illegal importation of goods or trafficking and we are very sure that this will really work,” said Kapoloma.

Kapoloma further said the drones would have been in the country by now but the company producing them has been heavily affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

“These are special drones, they are different from those which you know. They will be flying for some time that means their batteries should be so powerful. So, about when will they be operationalized, we don’t want to rush but the media will be told soon,” he added.

He further said as one way of enhancing tax compliance, MRA will be imposing heavy penalties to those caught illegally importing goods into the country so as to as well reach their target of collecting K1.03 trillion this year.

Of other new tax measures, the body has announced that it will soon introduce a revenue electronic stamps which will be used to collect taxes or fees on documents, tobacco, alcoholic drinks, bottled water, drugs and other products.

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