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2 Under Police Custody Over Forged Tax Stamps

Police are holding a man and woman who were allegedly caught with 11 cartons of banned gin possessing forged tax stamps.

Some of the products that were sold under forged stamps.

The two suspects, Grace Uwizeye and Jean Bosco Habyarimana were arrested in a police operation against people selling banned alcoholic substances.

The 11 cartons contained Real Waragi and Radiant Gin in plastic bottles. The two types of gin were products of Rum Brand LTD a gin manufacturing plant that was closed down in December last year by Rwanda Standards Board (RSB).

RSB closed the factory for failing to standardize its products and failing to switch from plastic to glass packaging.

However, since the closure of a number of factories that has been people producing products similar to those of the closed factories and sealing them with forged tax stamps.

Following several police operations, a number of products were seized and the arrest of the two suspects came as part of the police operation.

The two suspects were yesterday paraded at Revenue Protection Department and they admitted to dealing in illegal substances.

According Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) Deputy Commissioner for the Revenue Investigation & Enforcement Department, Robert Mugabe, stringent measures are in place to deal with anyone forging tax stamps.

“Normally people using forged tax stamps are either selling contrabands or illegal substances that may be very harmful to people’s lives,” said Mugabe.

He added that; “traders should always verify tax stamps on their products to ensure they are authentic; consumers should as well verify tax stamps because the substance you buying maybe very dangerous to your life.”

Counterfeiting stamps and official marks is punishable with a term of imprisonment between five to seven years and a fine between Rwf300, 000 and Rwf3 million.

Meanwhile, at the Revenue Protection Unit premises are 2022 cartons of Tiger Gin, and 640 cartons of Gorilla Gin that were seized in police operations for possessing forged tax stamps.

It has since been established that since RSB banned the packaging of spirits and gins in plastic bottles and closed down manufacturing plants that failed to meet standards, there are some traders that have resorted to smuggling plastic-packaged gins in the country.

In responding to the concern, Mugabe told journalists that smuggling hasn’t become such a big problem and where there are a few of such cases police have intercepted them.

By Robert Muriisa.RNP

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