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URA impounds casino gaming machines concealed in waste paper

The ongoing World Cup 2022 means business for Sport Betting Companies to tap into a similar business opportunity, Akumuntu Theophile from Rwanda attempted to conceal used mini coin casino Gaming Machines into Uganda using truck RAB183P/RL0718 to avoid the laid down Customs procedures and hence evade taxes.

Theophile aged 36 years, holding a Rwandan national Id and a Burundian Driving Permit concealed gaming machines in wastepaper cover load. However, his luck came to an end, when the scanners at Katuna One Stop Border Point (OSBP), between Uganda and Rwanda exposed the gaming machines within the container before opening and without tampering with the cover load.

A truck showing how the gaming machines had been disguised in waste

The enforcement team led by Moses Ejoku, the In-charge Katuna Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NII), recovered 12 machines (ten used coin machines and two mini coin casino boards) and five boxes of accessories to those machines were seized by enforcement team under UGKAT/C37/11/2022-55, awaiting for further management.

URA maintains control over a great number of containers by the use of NII scanners to efficiently and effectively inspect cargo. Border controls are therefore strengthened by NII procedures.

Eng. Hassan S. Wasswa, Supervisor NII Structures has said that the scanners detect contrabands and combat trade fraud while enhancing compliance for revenue collection improvements. They also maintain the international security chain thereby enhancing national security. He noted that the equipments serve as the deterrent mechanism. Smugglers and adversaries avoid entry points where the NII equipment has been installed.

NII equipment include baggage scanners, fixed fast scanners, mobile truck scanners, air cargo scanners, radiation portal monitors, and handheld backscattering inspection system among others. The first Non-Intrusive scanners were procured in 2018 and Uganda Revenue Authority currently has over 30 NII scanners in service. They are stationed at Malaba, Tororo, Elegu, Busia, Entebbe, Katuna, Kyanika, Mutukula, and Mirama Hills.

Brian Ahimbisibwe, Supervisor Non-intrusive inspection Command Centre added that machines are being installed at, Mpondwe, Bunagana, Goli, Isheshero, Butogota, Buzinga, and Rwahaha border points.

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