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Ministry courts soldiers to curb smuggling

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Sosten Gwengwe

A meeting between the Ministry of Trade, security agencies and trade experts has resolved to engage in a multisectoral operation to tighten border security in a bid to curb smuggling of products.

The meeting was convened by the ministry in Lilongwe and was attended by officials from the Malawi Defense Force, Malawi Revenue Authority, Malawi Police Service, National Intelligence Bureau, Malawi Bureau of Standards and Competition and Fair Trading Commission.

Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe, said in an interview Wednesday that the stakeholders have agreed that the joint operations should be with immediate effect.

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“We will also intensify market surveys championed by the Malawi Bureau of Standards including in warehouses,” said Gwengwe.

Reacting, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry MCCCI Head of Membership Development and Communication, Tione Kafumbu, said the step taken is ideal.

“This is a very welcome development because smuggling is indeed a big challenge where the market is populated with smuggled goods offering very cheap prices,” Kafumbu said.

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Smuggling of goods has had a harsh bearing on the economy, affecting the local industry.

Recently, Illovo Sugar Malawi announced that it will register a subdued profit by 65 percent due to an influx of smuggled sugar among other reasons.

Chibuku Product Limited also lamented illegal importation of opaque beer saying that it has highly hampered its sales on the local scene.

Malawi remains a predominantly importing and consuming country. The country share borders with Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia.

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