URA Nets Six in Fraudulent Cross Border Dealings

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is holding six people suspected to have been involved in conducting illegal cross border transactions and forgery of documents. The suspects, order five men and a woman are said to have connived with clearing agents to carry out 145 custom entries with the intention of importing goods from neighboring countries without paying taxes.

URA’s Commissioner in charge of Customs Dickson Kateshumba told a news conference on Monday the suspects were picked from Nakawa, tadalafil Nasser Road in the city centre while one had tried conning somebody within the premises of the URA headquarters. The arrests follow a month and a half long investigation by the Authority which says it has stepped up its intelligence capacity to clamp down on these crimes.

Those being held include; Francis Ntwatwa, Patrick Nseera, Deogratius Keeya, Mariam Nakiyemba, Sula Mutebi and Jude Okurut.

“The effect of such illegal transactions is that Uganda loses money in import duty and VAT (Value Added Tax). The suspects were found with items like laptops, counterfeit money, forged academic documents and stamps of companies, schools, hospitals, universities as well as driving permits and log books,” Kateshumba told journalists.

The fake stamps cover a range of institutions (including URA) from Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania among others.

He noted that investigations are still ongoing to establish the magnitude of this fraud before the six are aligned in court for prosecution. He advocated for a tougher punishment to deter similar cases.

In reference to fraudulent URA staff and clearing agents, Kateshumba had no kind words. He warned that such characters risk losing their jobs and having their licenses terminated. Dragging the process of clearing he said frustrates people’s businesses and subsequently hurting the economy. Two clearing companies Epitome Enterprises Ltd and Royal Trust Ltd were named in the illegal transactions.

“Some of the suspects were nabbed in secretarial bureaus at Nasser Road. We urge the public that if you are cheated by an agent, transporter or our staff, inform us. We want to facilitate business so that Ugandans can make money quickly and develop the economy,” Kateshumba added.

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