Former deputy minister convicted of smuggling fuel; to be sentenced Thursday

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER Deputy Finance Minister Terrence Mukupe has been convicted of smuggling 138 979 litres of fuel.

Mukupe, also a former legislator was convicted together with Same Kapisoriso, Ngonidzashe Mutsvene and Joseph Taderera.

The group is in custody awaiting their sentencing which will be handed down this Thursday.

The National Prosecuting Authority  (NPA) proved that the quartet smuggled a tanker filled with diesel into the country without paying duty in 2017.

The tanker was intercepted by Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials at Chirundu border post leading to the arrest of the four.

They were facing fraud charges and an alternative charge of contravening section 174(1) of the Customs and Excise Act (false declaration).

In a statement released Wednesday evening, NPA said the State had proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Former Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Terrence Mukupe together with 3 others have been convicted of importing 138 979 litres of fuel without paying duty. In doing so the accused prejudiced the State of revenue amounting to US$55 591.

“The accused are in custody pending their sentence on November 9 at the Harare High Court.”

Prosecutors proved that Mukupe and his accomplices connived to import 138 919 liters of diesel into the country without paying duty at the border.

When the tanker reached Forbes Border Post in Mutare, the four lied that the diesel was en route to the Democratic Republic of Congo, thereby bypassing the need to pay duty.

While the tanker was in Zimbabwe, the four then replaced the diesel with water, before driving the tanker to Chirundu where they were stopped by ZIMRA officials who wanted to check the contents of the tanker.09