ALERT security officials last week intercepted a truck ferrying R1,7 million worth of alcohol and energy drinks that were falsely declared as transit cargo.
Authorities have in recent weeks heightened border surveillance and security systems to curb leakages at the border. Officials said the contraband could have prejudiced Government of over US$187 000 in potential revenue.
“The owner of the consignment had falsely declared that they were shipping the goods in transit to Zambia. However, security officers alerted Zimra officials who established that the consignment was in the process of being smuggled into the country,” said a border official on condition of anonymity.
Zimra’s spokesperson Mr Francis Chimanda could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The Sunday Mail understands that the customs clearing agent who facilitated the attempted smuggling took flight after Zimra seized the goods.
Smuggling of goods into the country through transit fraud is rife, especially at Beitbridge Border Post.
Under the country’s customs regulations, specified goods attract excise duty during importation. Cargo that is in transit is allowed passage through the country for three days subject to acquittal at the port of exit.
However, that is not happening as smugglers have taken advantage of laxity in monitoring or corruption by some officials.
Authorities recently busted a smuggling racket involving nine tankers carrying at least 360 000 litres of fuel worth an estimated R3 million at Beitbridge.
Six of the tankers were headed for Harare while three were destined for Bulawayo.