Police in Beitbridge have recovered yet another consignment of cigarettes worth US$20 000 in Tshapfuche as they intensify their anti smuggling operation. The stash destined for export was recovered last Friday morning following the discovery of other contraband shipment worth almost US$500 000 in the same area the previous day.
Countries of the South African Customs Union (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland) charge high duties on cigarettes, meaning that even those bought retail in Zimbabwe can be sold for good profit in South Africa.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said the second stash was recovered at the homestead of a security guard they had earlier on arrested.
The security guard was part of the three suspects who were arrested while looking after the “merchandise” at Edzisani Muleya’s homestead. Chief Supt Chinhengo said the suspect had hid 33 boxes at his sister’s homestead while he kept another 72 boxes at his house.
Three hundred and eleven boxes of Remmington Gold, 442 Cevils, 221 Dullas and 107 Newbury cigarettes worth US$500 000 were last week recovered from Muleya’s homestead. Police say the house had become an illegal transit warehouse.
Muleya has since gone into hiding and police have launched a manhunt. Chief Supt Chinhengo said the Ferret squad, made up of the ZRP, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and other security agents raided the homestead on Thursday afternoon during an operation code-named Sukani Emanzini (Get out of the Limpopo River). Source: The Herald (Zimbabwe)
- US$500 000 cigarette bootleg seized in raid (mpoverello.com)