Liberia: LRA Intercepts, Returns Smuggled Cigarettes to Sierra Leonean Customs
The Anti-Smuggling Unit (ASIU) of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has intercepted and turned over 138 cartons of cigarettes to Sierra Leonean customs collectors at Jenema Customs collectorate in Freetown.
The anti-smuggling unit seized the cigarettes from two Liberians on separate occasions in July when they attempted to cross the border at Bo Waterside in Grand Cape Mount County during midnight hours.
LRA Anti-Smuggling Unit Supervisor, Abel Sneh, said the two brands of seized cigarettes (Bon and Sir) are not meant to be sold in Liberia but exclusively made for Sierra Leone. The smuggling of the cigarettes, he said, violates the revenue code and related Liberian laws.
This is the third time the LRA has seized and turned over illegal goods to its Sierra Leonean counterpart. The collaboration between Liberia and Sierra Leone Customs is backed by a framework under the Nairobi Convention, allowing customs administrations to collaborate to prevent, investigate, and repress customs offenses. The initiative further bolsters Liberia and Sierra Leone’s regional partnership in strengthening border collaboration and combating smuggling.
During the handover, the supervisor of the Sierra Leonean customs team at Jenema Customs Collectorate, James Ineh, thanked the Joint Security for the level of collaboration in handling both border posts. Ineh thanked the LRA for the smooth collaboration as both work to protect citizens within their respective borders while collecting revenues for the states.