By Staff Reporter
MUTARE-The Mutare magistrates courts forfeited to the State, construction equipment worth USD $122 000 owned by a Mozambican businessman after it was smuggled into the country via an illegal entry point without necessary documentation.
Police confirmed the incident, saying the equipment was smuggled through an illegal entry point near Katiyo Tea Estates in Honde Valley last Friday around 3am.
The equipment is reportedly owned by Graham Taylor of block 2 Vanduzi, Manica Mozambique who runs a company called Kurima nePovho Kubatsirana.
Provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa said the equipment comprised a red Massey Ferguson tractor, water bowser, 4×4 vehicle and JCB 205 yellow excavator.
Acting on a tip off, police and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) raided Katiyo Estates and found the smuggled equipment parked at the government owned plantation’s workshop.
They arrested Tambaoga Jerenyenje of Chigonero village, Chief Chipfuriro, Guruve and Enock Saide, 56, of Vanduzi Manica, Mozambique who reportedly came driving the equipment.
“After interrogation, the suspects revealed that they were instructed to smuggle the equipment via Pungwe River by Taylor.
“They said the machinery was intended to boost equipment for Mandebvu Construction Company which is owned by Kiggan Taylor, son to Graham who is based in Harare. Mandebvu is contracted with Katiyo Tea Estates for bush clearance,” said the police spokesperson.
Mandebvu Construction Company maintenance manager, Privillage Matora was quizzed by police and confirmed that construction equipment was imported from Mozambique to Katiyo but professed ignorance on the issue of smuggling, saying he thought all the paper work for the equipment was done at Forbes border post by his bosses.
The suspects reportedly took police to Pungwe River for indications where the equipment was smuggled into the country.
Jerenyenje and Charevo were convicted by the court and were jailed for six months each but they were given an option to pay a fine of $600 apiece for contravening Customs and Exercise Act.
The equipment was forfeit to the State.