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Malawi losing billions to smuggling

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Sosten Gwengwe

Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, has said Malawi is losing billions of Kwacha to smuggling and illegal entry of foreign alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages into the country.

Gwengwe said the government is confiscating smuggled products, and warned to close down businesses and prosecute traders involved in the illegal importation of foreign products.

He was reacting to a raid the police and court marshals conducted at Kasungu Boma on Friday to seize counterfeit products.

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Gwengwe said smuggling remains the biggest problem facing local manufacturers.

“Each day, Malawi is losing billions of Kwacha through unpatriotic people who are bringing into this country uncertified products.

“Currently, the fiscal police, MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority], Malawi Bureau of Standards, my ministry and the private sector are engaged in joint operations to combat the menace,” he said.

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Chibuku Products Limited (CPL) Business Development and Corporate Affairs Manager, Gloria Zimba, said in an earlier interview that the company is grappling with the infiltration of illegal and uncertified Chibuku Super, Mahewu and Super Shake on the local market.

Zimba feared the illegal sale of foreign Chibuku products will confuse customers into thinking that they are buying products of the local company, leading to loss of sales volume and revenue.

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