LRA Suspends Aminata & Sons from Duty Free Privileges

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The Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) has suspended Aminata & Sons, Inc. from lifting duty free products at the LPRC and has instituted a probe into the company’s alleged misdirecting of fuel belonging to the Liberia Water & Sewer Corporation, (LWSC).

The suspension will be in force, pending the completion of a full investigation.

According to a late night release yesterday, the LRA said an Aminata & Sons tanker and its products, which were due to be delivered to the LWSC head office in Monrovia, were instead diverted to Aminata’s local station in Kakata, Margibi County.

The release said the tanker was on Wednesday, October 28 impounded and returned to Monrovia after the LRA, through its covert operations, uncovered the scheme.

Aminata & Sons, one of the major importers of petroleum products in the country, is currently the vendor for LWSC which enjoys duty free privilege on fuel.

LRA Customs Commissioner Saa Saamoi said after Aminata lifted the fuel from the compound of LPRC on Bushrod Island, the tanker was covertly followed to authenticate its destination.

“At the end of the day, what should have been a delivery at LWSC headquarters in Monrovia, ended up at Aminata retail station in Kakata,” he said.

The LRA said it cannot link any person from the LWSC to the act until a full investigation is completed.

Under the law, the release said, there is a penalty, a jail sentence of five years or confiscation of the product or all three of the above for the action if found guilty.
Commissioner Saamoi said duty free privileges enjoyed by various concessions, government entities and other organizations are being misused. “This is just one (example), and we will be very decisive about it…and whoever else is caught in the same criminal act will face the full weight of the law.”

The Customs Commissioner said the action is tax evasion and it undermines revenue generation and significantly hurts free market competition.

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