Rwanda Revenue Authority officials in the western province of Rwanda has released a list of top ranking smuggled goods along the Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo border in Goma and Rubavu district.
Rwiririza Gashango, the RRA provincial official said that the list includes African print clothes (kitenge), tomato sauce, wines and spirits, cosmetics, powdered milk, are the products which have been highly smuggled into Rwanda through Goma.
Gashango revealed that most of these products especially bitenge, tomato sauce and wines are smuggled to the city of Kigali and Muhanga district, where they are sold at high profits.
He said that unlike wines which have high taxes some of the other products, like Bitenge have a low tax regimes but smugglers prefer to make more profits.
In August this year, Police in Rubavu district intercepted an assortment of smuggled goods that include expensive liquors and tinned food, about a week after over 300 other bottles of expensive smuggled liquor were intercepted.
The seized goods include ten bottles of Café whisky, six cartons of Nido powdered milk, 22 cartons of tomato sauce and three cartons of body lotions.
While in October 2015, the Rwanda National Police’s Revenue Protection Department (RPD), managed to recover about Rwf266 million taxes that otherwise would have been evaded between May and August this year.
The unit recovered over Rwf104 million in May, in June it collected Rwf49 million while Rwf59 million and Rwf52 million were recovered in the months of July and August respectively
According to the officials unit, the seizure of the smuggled good was part of the force’s continued operations to fight tax evasion.
The Revenue Protection Department says that the kind of fraud activity on the Goma border, like other borders is mainly attributed to the nature of borders, which are porous.
Rwanda’s Minister for East African Community, Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, has blamed this to the unfriendly regulations on borders.