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Sierra Leone News: NRA discovers illegal harbour at Yams Farm community

The Customs Department of the National Revenue Authority has uncovered huge smuggling activities of food, medicine and timber estimated to be worth over Le200 million. The raid was conducted at the Yams Farm wharf western Rural. Smuggling has been a major obstacle to the efforts to improve the country’s economy as tax can be a major revenue generation. Anonymous informants confirmed that smuggling activities have been happening in that wharf for over two months. The Head of Revenue Intelligent and Investigation Unit at the Commissioner General’s Office NRA, Mohamed James Foday, said customs department has recruited 18 whistle blowers/informants to help prevent smuggling activities in various parts of the country. According to James Foday, the informants are recruited on contractual basis. According to his statement he was not tipped about the timber before coming to the wharf but discovered that it was been prepared to be exported to Guinea illegally using boats that brought in the smuggle goods. “I met young men off loading a truckload of timber with the intention of loading them into the boats that came in with the smuggled goods and since it illegal I decided to call the Assistant Commissioner Anti-Smuggling unit to send more manpower to arrest this,” James Foday added. Assistant Commissioner Anti-Smuggling Unit at NRA, Brima Samba Kemoh, said there are lot of other smuggling wharfs that are yet to be discovered, pointing out that they are looking forward to have more informants to help tackle smuggling. Deputy Commissioner – Customs, Tennysion Bio, expressed disappointment that smuggling has been happening at the Yams Farm community for over two months and the people failed to report it. He furthered that it a big loss to the country, adding that the proceeds loss to smuggle should have been used to undertake major development projects. Head of SWAT at the Transnational Organised Crime Unit, Andrew Rhonko, confirmed that they have made four arrests for further investigation.

15/12/18

Monday December 17, 2018.

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