Alcohol smuggling into Gambia worries GRA

Mar 20, 2024, 11:24 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The commissioner general of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) Yankuba Darboe has raised concern over rampant smuggling of alcohol through the porous route of Giboro Border Post.

The GRA supremo pointed out that since the closure of Banjul Breweries Manufacturing Company in The Gambia, some of the business men are involved in bringing alcohol from Guinean Bissau. “This is normal, but we want them to use the approved road and pay their customs duties,” he emphasised.

However, what we have experience is that most of them, once they settle with the Senegalese Customs at Selity Customs Post, they left them to come to The Gambia and before they get to our border most of the time, they would divert through the un-approved route knowing that both The Gambia and Senegalese borders are very porous.”

“This is why we want Senegalese collaboration in this process. All they need to do, once the Senegalese are done with their process, simply escort the trucks to The Gambia and hand them over to the GRA officers at the border.”

CG Darboe revealed there are quite a number of smugglers who would go to Guinea Bissau to buy alcohol, and after passing the Senegalese border posts, they would divert their ways to various porous routes into The Gambia without paying tax – situation he described as “very unfair” not only to GRA but the country as a whole.

He described The Gambia as a tax-based economy, and that any one engaging in an economic activity earning profit should pay tax to the government so that it realises development projects for the citizenry.

CG Darboe noted this can only be attained with collective efforts and cooperation within the sister security. He went on to advise both the Senegalese Gambian Customs at the borders to deepen their cooperation and work as a family, build friendship and share vital information that are relevant to  national development.

He also appealed to the Senegalese Customs to hand over any alcohol smuggler to the Giboro Customs Post.  This, he added would significantly help GRA crackdown on alcohol smugglers coming from Guinea Bissau to The Gambia.

Since collecting revenue requires multilateral efforts, CG Darboe called on the sister security apparatus to deepen and strengthen their ties, saying that would ease the work of every sector towards nation building.

CG Darboe also commended the GRA staff for their commitment and dedication in ensuring that GRA secures its monthly and yearly targets. 

He also assured GRA staff posted at various offices that most of the challenges they raised would be “immediately addressed.” He also pointed out that the purpose of meeting the staff is to see how best to address their challenges. He advised junior staff to respect their managers who represent the commissioner general in all GRA offices.

He advised them to avoid engaging in anything that could tarnish the image of GRA, while urging them to be punctual and redouble their efforts.

CG Darboe also disclosed that the GRA had collected over D1.7 billion in the month of January and over D1.4 billion in February.

He expressed optimism the March collection would surpass the previous months.