By Mashonaland East Correspondent
TAX collector, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), has raised alarm over a sharp increase in the smuggling of illegal brews from neighbouring Mozambique.
Officials recently intercepted and impounded over 200 crates of various types of Mozambican beer at Nyamapanda Border Post in Mashonaland East province.
“During a highway patrol by Zimra officials assisted by police, the following goods were seized in the process: 186 crates of red gin and 68 crates of tambirane illicit beer,” a Zimra official confirmed.
Also impounded in the raid were 357 pairs of rafters, 104 pieces of clothing material, loose shirts and four bales of second hand clothing.
The Zimra official added smugglers had devised new methods to beat the taxman’s monitoring system, but continued interception of smuggled goods by the authority had raised hope that the scourge can be tamed.
With the price of local beer increasing every week, given the fall in value by the RTGS currency, most cash-strapped imbibers have been forced to drink cheap but illicit and harmful alcohol brands mostly smuggled from Mozambique.
The smugglers often use landmine-infested areas like Nyamapanda, Forbes and Sango illegal entry points to transport the contraband.
According to officials, police and tax authorities have increased patrols to curb the illegal trade in illicit brews.