Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is set to acquire more mobile cargo scanning equipment in order to ably inspect and identify goods in transit.
The acquisition of more machines will, according to the tax authority, reduce the time spent in clearing goods.
Addressing the media at URA head offices in Nakawa, Kampala today, the commissioner customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa said that some smugglers are concealing illegal products such as Ivory in timber logs on transits to Asia which makes it very difficult to be identified by the ordinary equipment at the border points.
“We are in the process of acquiring more mobile scanners to be deployed on most sensitive border points across the country; this will help our customs officers to easily identify illicit goods in transit or those being imported into Uganda,” he said.
He added that the new equipment will increase the efficiency of URA in clearing goods at the border points since they are more advanced with modern technologies which uses X-ray scanning systems.
Agnes Nabwire, the deputy commissioner customs, said currently, URA have three mobile cargo scanners stationed at Malaba, Busia and one in Kampala yet the country have many border points where such machines are most needed for cargo inspection.
The development comes after URA customs officers, at the Elegu Border between Uganda and Southern Sudan, intercepted containers belonging to Vietnamese nationals, in which timber logs were used to conceal ivory and pangolin scales.
The smugglers were intercepted after a tip off by the tax body’s intelligence network. Pangolin scales and ivory are on high demand in Asian markets.
The smugglers are now being held by URA waiting to be taken to courts of Law to face charges related to trading in illegal goods.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO