Local October 17, 2016 | 2:54 pm

Dominican industries decry alarming 28% jump in smuggling

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic Industry Association,AIRD, director Circe Almánzar on Sunday said contraband has increased soalarmingly in the last three years that 28% of the alcohol and cigarettes soldlocally is smuggled into the country.

She said the AIRD is in talks with the headsof retailers organizations to forge an alliance against tax evasion andinformality.

Almánzar said industrialists fear that a powerfulmafia which operates here and other nations mostly in Central America is behindthe smuggling of goods.

Interviewed in the D’Agenda Program, thebusiness leader said the mafia smuggles mainly with high tax bracket products,such as liquors and cigarettes and even guns. "It’s affecting us more andmore in the last three years, we’re talking about that in some sectors such ascigarettes and alcohol smuggling is around 28% of the market share or salesthat are occurring in the informal market."

"We have smuggling via Haiti, but also smugglingroutes via companies with special arrangements that are uncontrolled, but thatin no way implies that these companies have something to do with these illegalactions."

She said smugglers use multinationalcompanies or which have special arrangements to import and export such as freezones to enter goods or put them in their name, and thus mislead customs authorities.

"Meanwhile we have the issue of the shippingcompanies that already have become a business, because they began withhumanitarian aid or persons which sent every type of goods to their relatives,but we found that they are bringing everything, and it’s a business and not tohelp families."

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