12 bus conductors arrested for bribery

23 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
12 bus conductors arrested for bribery

The Herald

Crime Reporter
POLICE in Beitbridge have arrested 12 bus conductors for allegedly trying to bribe officers at a roadblock in Bubi, after being found in possession of smuggled goods.

Their buses were intercepted along the Beitbridge-Masvingo laden with goods smuggled from South Africa.

The conductors were arrested by the National Security Taskforce attached to an operation code-named “No to cross border crimes”, while their buses were carrying goods believed to have been smuggled into the country.

The 12 bus conductors are Proceed Mugadza (34), Mahiya Darlington (45), Titos Nyagara (55), Anyway Chizombe (39), Edmore Mavhiza (50), Blessing Gune (32), Previous Nyangoro (45), Laston Katsande (41), Elvis Mashira (34), Kudakwashe Ndlovu (42), Peter Muronza (34) and Onias Mungwanda (37).

Some of the conductors who have since appeared in court are from bus companies which include Sliver King, MB Transport, Goodriders Bus Service, Four Lions, Munhenzva and Chitulimani Bus company.

Others were travelling in a Toyota Granvia and a Nissan Caravan.

The bus drivers have since been questioned by the police.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.

“They were arrested for bribery at Bubi roadblock along Beitbridge-Masvingo Highway.

“The suspects had offered to bribe the police officers with cash so that the buses could be allowed free passage without being searched. The total amount of cash offered as a bribe is R4 150 and US$23. Investigations are in progress,” he said.

Meanwhile, police in Beitbridge have also arrested another conductor, Anyway Pepukai (31) for bribery.

“The suspect who was a conductor of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter (AFG 9683) from SA instructed his driver to drive off at a police checkpoint before producing cash amounting to R250 which he handed over to a police officer in an attempt to bribe him and was nabbed,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.

The arrests come after last month, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has intercepted and impounded nine buses carrying smuggled goods worth thousands of US dollars during an ongoing anti-smuggling blitz.

This comes at a time the country is reportedly losing US$1 billion annually through smuggling.

In a statement, ZACC said it launched the operation after a tip-off that smuggling was now rampant at the country’s borders.

The bus crews and passengers failed to produce Zimra declaration forms.

The contraband was found in the following buses: MB Transport (AFJ 0588, trailer ABS 1582) driven by Reveal Kazangarare, Urban Connect (AEU 7344), Bless IT UP Motors (AFQ 2435), Pangolin Transport (ACE 255,1 trailer AAS 6467), DRD Luxury Coaches (FF94YT GP, trailer JY94K GP) and MCB Transporter (AEZ 6383, trailer AEZ 3967).

Recently, two bus drivers, Taurai Mhlanga (36) and Samuel Matengu (37) were arrested for smuggling after a high speed chase.

They unsuccessfully tried to escape, disregarding ZACC’s instructions to stop but they were arrested after other teams participating in the joint operations joined in.

The pair’s bus had 300 cases of Dragon energy drink, 14 cases of Windhoek beer and 500 cases of Maq washing powder.

They have since appeared in court charged with smuggling.

In April, the National Security Taskforce intercepted 15 other buses carrying contraband as security authorities intensified their quest to curb the scourge of smuggling.

At Beitbridge Border Post it is understood that the smugglers are shipping the goods through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River which they then load in buses heading to various towns and cities across the country.

Others are using buses carrying Zimbabwean migrants returning home by road through the Beitbridge border post.

On the legal entry points, there are also reports of people under-declaring their goods to evade duty payment prejudicing the country of potential revenue.

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