Maputo — The Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) announced on Thursday that it had aborted attempts to smuggle into the country eight tonnes of contraband chicken and 666 crates of wine.
Speaking to reporters at Ressano Garcia, on the border with South Africa, the director of the Maputo Provincial Customs Operational Area, Leonel Vasco, said the smuggled goods were inside two trucks, the owners of which had declared them as other types of merchandise.
The two trucks were opened at Ressano Garcia on Wednesday night, and customs agents found the chickens in a truck that was supposed to be carrying flour. “There were about two tonnes of flour”, said Vasco, “and the rest of the cargo was eight tonnes of frozen chicken and chicken derivatives”.
The driver of the second truck had declared that it contained popcorn and insecticides. But the customs agents found it was full of alcoholic drinks, mostly wine of various types.
Vasco said it was premature to estimate how much the Mozambican state would have lost, if the smugglers had succeeded. “They’re unloading the vehicles now”, he explained, “to ascertain the exact amount, and how much the state would have lost in customs duties”.
He added that the authorities will be implacable in their inspections, not only at the border, but along the route to Maputo. They will check to ensure that all imported wines and spirits bear the fiscal stamp proving that they have been imported legally.