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Corruption rocks Kambia Post…Senior Collector Implicated

Some Senior Collectors at the National Revenue Authority (NRA) assigned to the Gbalamuya Customs Post in the Kambia District are not happy with the modus operandi of the institution in that part of the country. While the unhappiness of these employees has become evident in their performance, Mr. Malcolm Wilkinson, popularly known as the shylock is presently thinking of how to save his neck from allegations of corruption that has almost taken over the operation of the National Revenue Authority (NRA).Report of undervaluation of goods going through the Gbalamuya Post, pilfering and petty siphoning of revenue generated under his administration has now become a way of life for many of them.

Report of massive revenue loss, siphoning and day-light stealing according to inside sources at the NRA Headquarters have reached the office, but it would appear that Mr. Malcolm Wilkinson is stronger and more influential than the acting Commissioner of the National Revenue Authority(NRA), therefore he remains unshakable like the rock of Gibraltar, while the country bleeds.

Arrested trailer at Customs House, Cline Town

Although NRA top brass are reportedly putting mechanism in place to curb and curtail the unpatriotic activities of Mr. Malcolm Wilkinson and some of his team players, but the snail pace with which things are being done has the potential of causing more financial damage to the country and the National Revenue Authority (NRA) as an institution than expected. The driver of a Guinean trailer with registration number RC 7044 G was reportedly happy when he discovered that his goods were undervalued and told to see Mr. Malcolm Wilkinson and talk the rest over, which is the unofficial side of the assessment of his goods.

How the owner of the goods Alhaji Piltu was able to “understand and comply with the unofficial arrangement” that the NRA as an institution did not benefit from remains a puzzle to onlookers who stood by in wonder. Investigation further reveals that the said trailer has on several occasions left the NRA Post without undergoing proper scrutiny and paying the correct tax. Whether he refused to comply with the financial demands of custom officials this time round that caused him his headache or not is not known. What is known is that leakages took place to officials of the preventive unit and the Guinean trailer and goods were arrested.

To many people, it was Alhaji Piltu who ran out of luck on Sunday 30th September 2012, but to others it was destined that his goods and trailer should be arrested by the Preventive Security Services Department (PSSD) of the National Revenue Authority. The trailer was arrested while trying to off-load its used clothing contents in Freetown, which he transported from Guinea. The NRA PSSD officials saw a receipt of payment for two hundred bundles of used clothing, whilst six hundred bundles were loaded on the trailer and discovered not paid for by Alhaji Piltu. This catch has left the head of the NRA Post, Malcolm Wilkinson in a state of dilemma, despite his braggadocio statement of being the guardian of the Commissioner of Customs at Cline town, Mr. Santigie Kamara.

Standard Times learnt that while the vehicle was being detained, its owner Alhaji Piltu was seeking out ways of doing “business as usual” with NRA Officials at Cline Town to secure the release of both his goods and the vehicle. The Commissioner of Customs and Excise Mr. Santigie Kamara has refused to comment when contacted by this medium. He however later confirmed of being aware of the arrest of the vehicle, which is located in a corner within the confines of establishment. Mr. Santigie Kamara has referred this medium to the Head of Customs Operation, Mr. Sahid Conteh who explained that the trailer was arrested for reasons related to Customs matter. Up to press time, sources at the Cline Town Department have revealed that the owner of the vehicle has been released after preparing a Le43, 000, 000 Payment Plan Agreement to offset unpaid duty.

The Gbalamuya Customs Post is the third Revenue Generation Post in the country with a target of Le500, 000,000 monthly by Government. What stands out very clearly is that officials are lining up their pockets with Billions of Leones every month than addressing the target issue. In a related development, investigations have revealed that both the Senior Collector and his team has openly neglected the charge sheet provided by the National Revenue Authority (NRA), which contains various charges for goods entering and going out of the country.(To be continued)

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