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Smugglers declare groceries as fertilizer

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

Security officials working with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) anti-smuggling unit in Beitbridge have intercepted three commercial trucks which were transporting an assortment of groceries which had been declared as fertilizer.

The actual amount of import duty is yet to be ascertained although it is estimated to be in running into millions of dollars in local currency.

The police officer commanding Beitbridge District, Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo could not be reached for comment.

A source close to the case said two trucks were intercepted at the weekend along the Beitbridge Bulawayo road while another was busted at the border post exit area. “The three by 30 tonnes South African registered trucks were being driven by Munyaradzi Magodi, Mahlahla Isheunesu and Mashiri Tafadzwa.

The importers were using fake customs documents and one was intercepted at the border while the other two we got them at Makhado some 100km along the Beitbridge Bulawayo road,” said a border official who preferred anonymity.

The three trucks have since been taken to the Zimra Container Depot (Condep) pending further investigations.

The first truck with registration numbers CR02XH GP, trailer JLl71HZ and JL 76LM was carrying 2200 boxes of Maq washing powder, 940 boxes Britelite soap, diapers 25 boxes. The source said the second truck had been loaded with Maq washing powder 1030 boxes, Britelite (375), Waves pure joy (165), Ecllair pops (305), Stambo (20), Gentle magic (157), Gentle magic (77),Ellis brown (49), Nivea man (45), Hello snacks (400), Candles 100, Satiskin (154), Tomco (48), Lifebuoy (310), and Vaseline (19) boxes respectively.

The third truck with registration numbers FY70NT GP was transporting Maq washing powder 2kg by 1300 boxes, Maq 172 boxes by 1 kg, dragon 1800 boxes, britelite soap 400 boxes, candles 23 boxes, stambo 78 boxes, ingrams campor crean 190 boxes, cremora 20 boxes, jiggies 250 packets and baked beans 928 boxes,” sais the source.

The smuggling of goods being falsely declared as goods which attract less or no import duty is common at Beitbridge Border Post.

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