The Liberia Revenue Authority or LRA, by order of the Tax Court of Liberia, has seized a huge quantity of watches and jewelries, valued over US$305,254.54, from the Glamorous Jewelry and Watches store in Monrovia.
The LRA is reported to be going through some tough times in containing the smuggling of goods in Liberia. This is due in parts to the refusal of several business entities to declare and pay taxes to the government.
This has prompted the LRA to embark on taking surveillance on businesses which it perceived are in the constant habit of smuggling goods into the country, as well as those who also defraud government of taxes – one of such has already fallen prey to LRA investigation.
LRA’s Senior Security Investigation Consultant Sam Gaye disclosed that the LRA intelligence discovered that the Glamorous Jewelry and Watches store was smuggling into the country watches and jewelries with no record of tax payment.
According to Mr. Gaye, in September 2015, the LRA was hinted by its informers on Glamorous Jewelry and Watches store’s illegal activities in the country without paying taxes to the government. “Upon receiving the hint from our informers, we quickly moved to the business center and requested their custom documents, but they refused to do so; so we went to the Tax Court to apply that the goods be seized, following which we conducted audit on the business and we discovered that the value came up to US$305,254.50. After we got permission from the court that we seize all the watches and jewelries, we decided to move here and implement the court’s order – this is why we are here today,” he said.
The Glamorous Jewelry and Watches store is located in Sinkor adjacent the Royal Air Morac. It is believed to be owned by an unidentified Lebanese man, even though registered in the name of a Liberian identified as Amara Kaba, who is reportedly being used by the Lebanese businessman as a cover-up to smuggle the watches and jewelries into the country without paying taxes to the government.
Mr. Gaye also indicated that after conducting the audit on the business, the LRA realized that the jewelry store had a tax liability to the tune of more than US$ 99,000, with a fine of LD$ 200,000.
The Liberia Revenue Authority – responsible to government’s revenue generation, has over the time become robust since becoming independent under the leadership of Elfreda Tamba.
By Ethel A. Tweh-Edited by George Barpeen