BUJUMBURA November 14th (ABP) – Fraud on common borders between Burundi and neighboring countries has been “under control” since the establishment of the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR), said Mr. Jean-Berchmans Niyonzima, Commissioner of Investigation, Intelligence and Management at OBR, in a press briefing held in Bujumbura on Tuesday.
The inception of the OBR, dated July 14, 2009, is a reform operated by the Burundi government that is consistent with Burundi’s economic integration policy within the East African Community (EAC). Currently, it includes six countries, namely Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan.
Burundi shares common borders with three neighboring countries, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west, Rwanda in the north and Tanzania in the south-east.
Mr. Niyonzima was speaking after a seizure made in the morning of Tuesday November 12 by the Burundi National Police (PNB), 197 loincloths and 101 bottles of a variety of wines and liquor fraudulently imported from the DRC.
“Certainly fraud exists in Burundi; but it has been under control since the OBR was set up in the country, as evidenced by the result of the revenue achieved over the last ten years,” he explained.
Mr. Niyonzima noted that even if the goods imported fraudulently and seized on Tuesday morning are coming from the DRC, they could also come from the two other neighboring countries of Burundi, namely Tanzania and Rwanda. “However, whatever its origin, fraud must be fought in all its forms, through a national synergy including the OBR, the army, the police and various Burundian citizens through the denunciation against fraudsters”, he said.
To continue moving forward, he added, the OBR introduced the payment of a premium of 10% of the amount of duties and taxes recovered from the fraudulent transaction. “Here I would say with no doubt that fraud has decreased in Burundi by more than 80%,” he said. He also pointed out that at the regional level, the fight against fraudulent trade is made difficult by a network of fraudsters who collaborate in the commission of ad hoc crimes.