WINDHOEK: Namibia is losing about N.dollars 181 million in revenue per year as it’s being used as a transit route for the illegal smuggling of cigarettes from countries like Zimbabwe, Angola as well as China and Dubai.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (TISA), Francois van der Merwe raised this concern during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TISA and the Directorate of Customs and Excise in the Ministry of Finance (MoF) here today.
He said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region has been used as a criminal network for illegal cigarettes, and Namibia has been used as a transit route.
According to Van der Merwe, about 60 per cent of these illegal cigarettes from SADC are destined for the South African and Namibian markets.
Van der Merwe said despite the hard work of police and customs’ officials in confiscating and seizing illegal cigarettes through roadblocks and checkpoints, criminals are never brought to book for dealing in counterfeit cigarettes.