via Zimra detects drugs worth $1m – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 2, 2015
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) mobile scanners have detected illegal drugs worth over $1 million and recorded 1 911 cases, the revenue collector has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
In its 2014 annual report, Zimra said mobile scanners continue to assist the organisation in terms of efficiency, thwarting of criminal activities in the form of smuggling and false declarations among others.
“During the period under review, scanners detected various cigarettes, harmful skin lightening creams and illegal drugs worth over a million dollars and 1 911 cases were recorded on illegal drugs,” it said.
“The scanners have gone far to the extent of mitigating human trafficking. A number of cases were recorded and about 15 people were scanned in trucks and they had no proper travel documents. Buses and trucks smuggling goods were fined and revenue was collected for the nation.”
The Chinese government gave Zimra three mobile container scanners worth $10,5 million in October 2013 in a development aimed at improving revenue collection and the minimising of revenue leakages at the border post.
Zimra said it has deployed the canine unit to all major border posts and Harare International Airport during the year 2014. It said the major highlights of canine detections had been large quantities of raw cannabis detected at Nyamapanda Border Post and an assortment of illegal harmful skin lightening creams and pharmaceuticals.
“These deployments have deterred rampant smuggling and trafficking of illegal goods and drugs. Drug smugglers are now forced to revert to the use of illegal crossing points. Strategies will be enforced to deter those smuggling through illegal crossing points,” Zimra said.
The authority said it had adopted multiple strategies to curb corruption such as anti-corruption hotlines, whistleblower facility, lifestyle audits, integrity checks, roadblocks, roadshows, and workshops among others. It said the initiatives had greatly reduced corruption levels below the previous year across the authority which signifies that system leakages are being tightened.
“Most corruption cases involved aiding smuggling, receiving brides, improper clearance of goods, failure to account for monies received among others. Integrity lapses and greediness continue to drive corruption. Corrupt officers were quickly dismissed and prosecuted as the authority exhibited zero tolerance to corruption. It is highly encouraging that corruption levels seem to be on a downward spiral in all regions,” Zimra said.
Zimra missed the target revenue collection by 6% after collecting $1,66 billion for the first half of 2015 due to the shrinking formal economy.
The target was $1,76 billion. Net collections declined by 3% from the same period last year when $1,72 billion was collected.