HARARE: Smuggling by some unscrupulous dealers trying to evade customs duty is on the rise, police have said. Chief national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba last Friday said police recently recovered 296 bales of second-hand clothes, 32 bales of second-hand shoes and 24 tonnes of onions in two separate incidents in Mutare and Harare.
“On June 1, 2016, a DAF truck which was coming from Mutare rammed into a VID motor vehicle during a chase, after it failed to stop. The driver escaped leaving the vehicle and upon search, it was discovered that the truck was carrying 296 bales of second-hand clothes and 32 bales of second-hand shoes that had been smuggled through Mutare. The goods are valued at $131 200,” she said.
She said in a similar incident, police in Harare intercepted a South African registered truck carrying onions which had been smuggled into the country. The onions were said to have been destined for Zambia, but they were offloaded in Zimbabwe.
“The truck was carrying 2 400 x 10kg pockets of onions. Police would like to warn those engaging in smuggling activities to desist from doing so as the long arm of the law will soon catch up with them,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.
Meanwhile, police are investigating a fraud case in which a 34-year-old woman lost $40 000 to fraudsters in Harare in March this year. The victim was sold a stand belonging to someone else after the fraudsters had forged documents.
“A 34-year-old woman was tricked after she responded to an internet advertisement for a Good Hope residential stand that was on sale. She was made to pay $40 000 and she was advised that the persons who had sold her the stand were not the rightful owners,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said. She urged people to verify with relevant authorities the authenticity of any property before they buy.