The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) customs team recently uncovered a smuggling attempt by an importer to bring in over 203,000 undeclared watches into the country. The watches were hidden at the back of a container along with other dutiable goods such as mixed garments, smart TVs, and shoes.
The URA team was able to detect the watches using Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology and field intelligence enforcement operations at the Malaba One Stop Border Point. The watches are estimated to be worth more than USD 5,000.
Ibrahim K. Bbossa, the URA spokesperson, revealed that the authority has been using advanced technologies like X-ray equipment to identify the contents of containers while still in transit. Additionally, the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) is being utilized to prevent tampering with the cargo throughout transportation.
To ensure the safety of imported goods, the URA will continue to use NII equipment with a high penetrative ability to detect radiation sources and protect against potential radiation poisoning.
The importer involved in the smuggling attempt is likely to face imprisonment for up to five years or a fine equal to fifty per cent of the dutiable value of the goods involved, or both, as per section 200 of the East African Customs Community Management Act (EACCMA).