BUJUMBURA August 18th (ABP) – The fight against the use of minors in fraud and smuggling was on Tuesday August 17 at the center of discussions between officials of the Burundian Revenue Office (OBR), representatives of the organizations involved in the sector of children, those of the administration of Bujumbura City Council as well as the services of the Burundian National Police (PNB) and the Ministry in charge of Justice, a check on the site by ABP has revealed.
According to OBR, children who are used in that form of violation are between 10 and 16 years old.
By way of illustration, the OBR projected images of children who were intercepted in Muyinga province (northern Burundi), on the Burundi-Tanzania border, while they were carrying fraudulently imported lemonade.
The fight against the use of minors in fraud and smuggling is provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi and other international instruments to which Burundi has ratified, among others, the African Charter on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The low level of fiscal citizenship, the search for undue gain, the permeability of borders, the scarcity of certain products on the market, non-tariff barriers and penalties which are not strictly applied are the main causes of fraud and contraband which are detected by the services of the OBR.
Those frauds result in lower revenues, insufficient funding for development projects, unfair competition as well as the fear of foreign investors to enter the country.
The communications officer and spokesperson for the OBR, Mr. Stany Ngendakumana, who opened the proceedings of the day of exchange, called on everyone to engage in the fight against this phenomenon. Thus, he clarified, the place of the child is not in the trade sector, even less in the street, but rather in school.