Gonyeti driver in big trouble after smuggling groceries worth US$20,000

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In a brazen attempt to circumvent customs regulations, a 37-year-old Harare man has been convicted of smuggling a truckload of grocery items worth nearly US$20,000 across the Zimbabwean border.

George Mutingondo, the accused, was arraigned before the Karoi Magistrates’ Court on charges of contravening the Customs and Excise Act. The state alleged that Mutingondo had misrepresented the contents of his truck to border officials, claiming he was simply in transit to Zambia via the Chirundu Border Post.

However, the deception was uncovered when Mutingondo returned the following day, still with the truck loaded with the same goods. This time, he told officials the truck contained 34 tons of duty-free biscuits – a claim that quickly unravelled.

The matter came to light when he was apprehended by the Police in Karoi following a tip-off, the National Prosecuting Authority of Zimbabwe reported. The truck was escorted back to Chirundu Border Post and a physical inspection was carried out by ZIMRA officials, resulting in the seizure of the goods.

Among the seized items were 2,015 cases of Nivea body cream, 499 boxes of Ellis Brown creamer, 499 boxes of Stumbo, 499 boxes of fruit juice, 300 boxes of Maq washing powder, and 300 boxes of Cremora.

Mutingondo pleaded guilty to the charges and was ordered to perform 280 hours of community service as punishment for his brazen attempt to smuggle the goods across the border.


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