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Bolivia gets tougher on contraband

11-25-2010 14:31 BJT

LA PAZ, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Bolivian government Wednesday ordered the implementation of a law which slaps tougher sanctions on contrabrand activities.

"Law 037 has been approved to fight contraband, the sanctions are harsh," Economy Minister Luis Arce Catacora told a press conference.

The legislation also ratifies the participation of the armed forces in the fight against contraband and confiscation of goods that are taken in crackdown operations. It also requires customs officials to periodically sign a contract with the economy minister to safeguard Bolivian borders.

"This supreme order has been created in consensus with different social sectors for awhile,," Arce said.

He also stressed the need for harsh measures in the new law proposed by the government.

"We have to be drastic against contraband, which makes our country bleed. And each time an item comes in without paying taxes, the opportunity to construct schools and hospitals is lost."

Bolivian officials estimated that contraband activities in the country are worth 230 million U.S. dollars each year and tax losses herein are hard to gauge.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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