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Provincial customs services in Manica, central Mozambique, have seized 23 tonnes of sugar smuggled from Zimbabwe at Machipanda over the last four months, Manica customs operations area director Remigio Guiamba announced on Wednesday.
Speaking during a report-back on sector activities between 2018 and the first two months of 2019, Guiamba warned of an increase in sugar smuggling from Zimbabwe, mainly at the Machipanda border.
“In the case of sugar in particular, we are experiencing a double loss. In addition to the revenue for the state which should be paid upon entry, producers are being harmed, as they are sometimes unable to sell their production because of foreign sugar,” he said.
The authorities also seized 1,000 bottles of alcoholic beverages, mainly spirits, from Zimbabwe at the Machipanda border.
Guiamba said that routine patrol work was ongoing on the border, which had seen an increase in smuggling cases.
Guiamba also said that Mozambique had introduced “very high surcharges on sugar imports”, a measure aimed at “valuing domestic production”, but smuggling was widely seen as an alternative.
Zimbabwe’s economic crisis, with acute shortages of foreign exchange and staples, including sugar, has fuelled the smuggling of its already low output, often in schemes involving workers at producer companies.
Guiamba noted that the smuggling of cigarettes and beverages had dropped significantly since the introduction of the mandatory sealing of imported goods to be sold in Mozambique.Source: Lusa
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