Officials in the Customs Department of the National Revenue Authority (NRA) have recently uncovered huge cache of smuggled items such as food stuffs, medicine and timber estimated to be worth over 200 million Leones in tax.
The raid was conducted at Yams Farm Wharf, west of Freetown.
The Head of Revenue Intelligent and Investigation Unit at the NRA Commissioner General’s Office, Mohamed James Foday informed the press that the Customs Department was able to prevent the actual smuggling of the goods as a result of the new Commissioner General’s strategy to recruit whistle blowers or informants to help prevent smuggling activities in various parts of the country.
According to James Foday the informants are recruited on a contractual basis. He mentioned that the NRA has recruited 18 informants working in the unit.
He further disclosed that the NRA was able to clamp the smugglers based on a tip-off by one of their whistleblowers which led to the arrest of the smugglers.
“On arrival, I met several young men unloading a truckload of timber with the intention of loading them onto the boats that arrived with the smuggled goods and since it is illegal I immediately called the Assistant Commissioner Anti Smuggling Unit to send in more manpower to arrest the situation,” James Foday added.
The Assistant Commissioner Anti Smuggling Unit at the NRA, Brima Samba Kemoh said there are lots of other smuggling events taking place at the wharf that are yet to be discovered. He pointed out that they are looking forward to recruiting more informants to further help tackle smuggling.