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Own your mess! URA distances self from Bank of Uganda scam

KAMAPALA – Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has Saturday 15 June distanced itself from Bank of Uganda’s procurement blunders, telling the officials to own their mess.

URA also maintains that in clearing the consignment in question, the Customs staff followed the procedures to the dot.
“…we can account for the cargo cleared fully,” stated the tax body.

URA has defended its integrity by providing the details of the information required by the investigators and the taxmen have stated that they are available to offer any clarification if required.

“URA should not be dragged into logistical contractual failures or mistakes of BOU and their service provider,” reads a statement dispelling reports associating the taxman in the prevailing BoU scam.

In a statement by Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Commissioner Customs, while dissecting the events, the tax body says it was informed by BOU in April of an impending import of Currency and requested to facilitate it’s quick clearance.

“A private chartered plane arrived and as normal practice for sensitive cargo Customs, we facilitated clearance of the currency at the tarmac in presence of BOU Officials, BOU Security, Aviation Security, Police and other security agencies,” reads the statement.

He adds that the consignment was offloaded, inspected and loaded on BOU vehicles and was escorted Kampala under heavy security.

He also revealed that the same plane contained more cargo which belonged to various individuals, companies and organizations.

“As per normal customs clearance procedure, this cargo was offloaded into the licensed bonds at the airport and subsequently the owners made customs declarations, paid applicable taxes and Customs physically verified each consignment to ascertain accuracy and consistency with the declaration and released the goods to the owners”.

Each consignment, the letter states had its individual airway bill and that Customs was not party to the airline charter arrangements between BOU, the airline and the other owners of the goods.

“It is not the responsibility of Customs to concern itself in logistical arrangements of importers or exporters. Our duty is to ensure that imported cargo through the airport is received and tallied with the cargo manifest, verified and is cleared in line with the Customs Laws as established under the East African Customs Management Act (EACCMA),” the statement adds.

The full statement authored by Dickson Kateshumbwa, the URA Commissioner Customs, read verbatim.

In April this year, URA Entebbe Customs was informed by BOU of an impending import of Currency and requested to facilitate quick clearance.

According to URA, aach consignment had its individual airway bill. And that Customs was not party to the airline charter arrangements between BOU, the airline and the other owners of the goods.

“It is not the responsibility of Customs to concern itself in logistical arrangements of importers or exporters.”

URA has maintained that their duty is to ensure that imported cargo through the airport is received and tallied with the cargo manifest, verified and is cleared in line with the Customs Laws as established under the East African Customs Management Act (EACCMA).

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