A suspected cartel of five people was brought before Chiredzi magistrate Geraldine Mutsotso last week charged with smuggling 150 bales of second-hand clothes from Mozambique into Chiredzi.

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Representing the State, Rony Chibatamaoko told the court that on May 22, the suspected syndicate, made up of Leo Bhila (31), Tapiwa Mapfumo (32), John Madondo (32), Runyararo Zanga (30) and George Musvosvi (29) used an illegal route into Zimbabwe to evade payment of duty at the legitimate port of entry.

The following day, the minerals and border control unit got a tip-off that the five accused persons’ UD truck was parked suspiciously in the bush near Chilonga Bridge in Chiredzi.

They went to investigate upon receiving the information, leading to the arrest of the five after they failed to produce declaration documents that are given at the border upon clearance with the customs department.

The accused, who are being represented by Charles Vhudzi of Zimbodza and Associates, denied the charges and were remanded in custody pending their bail hearing on Friday, June 01.

Mutsotso told the court that the accused had no right to do what they were being accused of doing and justice had to be served.

Police seized and took to Zimra Chiredzi office 150 bales of second-hand clothes worthy US$76 405.

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