Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A 45-year-old trucker who was arrested at Beitbridge Border Post last week while smuggling 5 000 IBR roofing sheets, two wardrobes and 18 salon chairs all worth R447 700 from South Africa has been fined $3 000.
Mudyiwa Nihape of Sunningdale 2, Harare, who was represented by Mr Patrick Tererai of Tererai Legal Practice appeared before Mr Godswill Mavenge.
He risks spending six months in prison if he fails to pay the fine.
Mr Mavenge also ordered the forfeiture of the smuggled goods as part of the sentence.
Prosecuting, Mr Misheck Guwanda told the court that on May 22, Nihape arrived at Beitbridge Border Post en route to Harare driving a South African-registered truck.
The truck was loaded with roofing material, saloon chairs and two wardrobes.
Mr Guwanda said Nihape, with the assistance of a clearing agent, tried to smuggle the said goods using fraudulently acquired customs bill of entry number ZWBB C 28587 of 22/05/2019.
According to the bill of entry, the goods were being imported by Masarawa t/a Super Builders and was being cleared by Aminaj Shipping P/L.
The court further heard that Nihape was arrested when he was about to leave the border post when authorities decided to verify his bill of entry number, and found that it was appearing in the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority’s (Zimra) Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA plus).
Further, Nihape’s documents had no industry and commerce permit required for the importation of the IBR roofing sheets.
Mr Guwanda said the truck bearing registration numbers; HX62YGGP (horse) and BH84BWGP (trailer) was taken for physical examination to establish the actual value and potential prejudice to the State.
It was then discovered that it was carrying 5 000 by 0,23mm IBR zinc sheets, two barber chairs and 16 saloon chairs all worth R447 700, and the potential prejudice to the State was $63 419, 94 .
The smuggled goods were in turn seized by Zimra under notice of seizure number 032621 of May 23, 2019 and the truck and horse were held under notice number 032620 of May 23, 2019.