Villagers angry with Moldovan customs officers

The residents of the village of Farladeni, Causeni district, plan to convene a so-called Village Assembly next Sunday, April 6, as they invited representatives from the Government, the Parliament and of the civil society. The villagers, who have been demanding to close the internal customs point situated in their locality, are going to inform the authorities about what they describe as abusive actions of the Moldovan customs officers and will ask to take measures to better the situation, Info-Prim Neo has learnt from the Promo-Lex Association. The villagers have repeatedly appealed to the central authorities, notifying that the existence of the customs checkpoint allows for levers for the Moldovan customs officers to corrupt citizens, obliging them to give bribes. The locals accuse the officers of illegally taxing some goods brought from the Transnistrian area and oblige them to pay customs duties without issuing any confirming receipts. The Farladeni people are also indignant they are asked to pay taxes for their produce brought from the fields close to the internal customs checkpoint, contrary to the legislation in force. According to Ion Manole, the Promo-Lex president, which will provide informational and legal counseling to the local people and administration, there are aspects discriminating the dwellers of the localities where there are so-called internal customs offices, as the Constitutional authorities shall find a solution to overcome this situation. The internal customs offices were created on the basis of a governmental decision, which however does not clearly state who, when, how much and for what shall pay customs duties, says Ion Manole. Promo-Lex considers the office in question is necessary to combat smuggling, but by no means shall it restrict the Moldovan citizens’ right to travel. At the same time, in the opinion of the NGO, the Customs Service is to make up a list of personal goods that are allowed to cross through the internal customs offices without paying duties. On March 16 this year, the Farladeni people picketed the customs point, asking to liquidate it and to annul the customs taxes levied from the locals on crossing the so-called border between Moldova and Transnistria.

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