The police’s Revenue Protection Unit (RPU) managed to recover about Rwf266 million in taxes that otherwise would have been evaded between May and August this year.
According to a statement, the achievement is a result of the strong partnership and joint operations between RPU, the public and Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA).
According to RPU, over Rwf104 million was recovered in May, Rwf49 million in June, while Rwf59 million and Rwf52 million were recovered in July and August respectively.
The commanding officer of RPU, CS Jean Nepo Mbonyumuvunyi, said following acute non-tax compliance by the members of business community in the past, the Government found it imperative to include the Police as a backup force for tax enforcement.
“Since the establishment of RPU, the situation has dramatically changed whereby, many successful operations have been conducted against smugglers. Through our sensitisation campaigns, many traders now understand better their role in national development through tax compliance,” he added.
Some recent cases involved fraudulent traders in Kigali, who were arrested while attempting to manipulate electronic billing machines to cheat the Government of taxes worth Rwf384 million.
Another man was arrested early this month at Gatuna border as he attempted to flee following Police investigations into his alleged issuance of fake invoices worth Rwf3 billion.
Another case occurred in September when Police in Nyabihu District seized a vehicle packed with over 200 bottles of smuggled premium liquor.
“Through professional investigations, we locate tax evaders and they pay the taxes and fines as stipulated by the law. On top of that, a number of cases related to tax evasion acts are submitted to Prosecution each month. This has helped to deter anyone with intentions to engage in this illegal activity,” CSP Mbonyumuvunyi explained.
“We are aware that some business people are always looking for loopholes to smuggle goods – and that is why we conduct random operations following credible information, either from whistleblowers or the public through community policing. Through such operations, we have found shops selling goods without tax stamps... We seize these products and inform RRA, which imposes fines on the wrongdoers.”
Article 369 of the Penal Code states that a taxpayer guilty of tax evasion shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between three to six months and a fine equal to the evaded tax.