SEVERAL ZIMRA OFFICIALS NABBED
Police have smashed a massive smuggling racket at Beitbridge Border Post, that involves Zimbabwe Revenue Authority officers.
So far two customs officers have been arrested and are accused of facilitating the smuggling of six-top-o-the-range vehicles described in the paperwork as grapes and shaving foam.
Sources close to the investigations said yesterday that the net was closing in on other members of the racket. Beni Mandiraira (33) and William Mwashaireni (39) have since been charged for Criminal Abuse of Office (as defined in section 174 of the Criminal Law [Codification and Reform] Act). The two appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr. Langton Mukwengi yesterday who remanded them to 28 October on $3000 bail each pending trial.
The actual value of import duty prejudiced the state is yet to be ascertained.
H-Metro understands that among the smuggled vehicles are four Toyota Fortuners (2016 and 2017 models) and two Toyota Hilux (2009 and 2012 models) which were imported by Simbarashe Ben, Ronald Maswela, Letwin Neshamba, Herbert Jena, Percival Mubaiwa and Onisemus Sosa.
However, an ideal preowned Toyota Fortuner or Toyota Hilux is sold at around R600 000 in South Africa. Import duty is calculated at 75 and 86 per-cent before Surtax.
According to the Zimra tariff handbook, fresh grapes are levied 4o percent duty while dried grapes are charged 10 percent. In cases where one declares that the grapes are originally from South Africa, they are not levied any import duties.
The State led by Mr Misheck Guwanda further alleges that the two connived to commit the offense between 1 April and 12 October this year.
He told the court that Mandiraira is a revenue officer was responsible for calculating and verifying import duty among other things.
Mwashaireni is a Data Capturing Officer. The court heard that between the period April and October, the two connived to falsify documents relating to the importation of six vehicles from South Africa via Beitbridge border post.
The prosecutor said the accused persons facilitated the importation of a Toyota Hilux, 2009 model, which was declared as a Honda Fit, one Toyota Fortuner declared as shaving foam, three other Toyota Fortuners (2016 and 2017 models) declared as grapes and another Toyota Fortuner described as unnamed goods.
The issue came to light on 12 October when police detectives received a tip-off leading to investigations into their shenanigans and the subsequent arrest of the two.
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