Zimra man steals $27 000 worth of ci­garettes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Thu­peyo Mu­leya

A ZIM­BABWE Rev­enue Au­thor­ity (Zimra) of­fi­cial has been ar­rested for al­legedly con­niv­ing with a sus­pected smug­gler to steal 84 boxes of ci­garettes worth $25 620 from a State ware­house in Beit­bridge.

Brian Shereni, of Eland Road in the bor­der town, al­legedly stole the ci­garettes in batches be­tween 15 and 21 April this year.

Through his lawyer, Mr Rea­son Mu­timba of Nyikadzino Le­gal Prac­tice, Shereni pleaded not guilty to theft be­fore Beit­bridge res­i­dent mag­is­trate, Ms Glo­ria Takundwa.

She granted him $200 bail and re­manded him to Septem­ber 8.

The State, led by Mr Lloyd Mup­fungidza, al­leges that Shereni con­nived with one Su­san Haru­peri to steal from the State ware­house. He said on Fe­bru­ary 3 this year, Zimra of­fi­cials in­ter­cepted Haru­peri and oth­ers along the Beit­bridge-Masvingo Road.

They sus­pected the group was in il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of 84 boxes of Chelsea and 24 boxes of Ex­press Royal ci­garettes re­spec­tively.

The of­fi­cials took the con­tra­band to the Eastern State Ware­house for stor­age. All the boxes were recorded in the seizure books.

The court fur­ther heard that Haru­peri who fled when they were in­ter­cepted was later ar­rested and taken to court on charges of il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of ex­port qual­ity ci­garettes.

She was ac­quit­ted and an or­der was granted com­pelling Zimra to return her ci­garettes.

Mr Mup­fungidza said Haru­peri ap­proached Shereni on April 15 and they hatched a plan to steal the ci­garettes.

He said on the same day, the woman col­lected the ci­garettes which were loaded in a Hyundai truck with reg­is­tra­tion num­bers ADA 0979 and was be­ing driven by one Moses Muzhambi.

The re­lease of the loot was recorded by a security guard man­ning the area, but Shereni did not record it in the ac­quit­tals book as per pro­ce­dure.

The pros­e­cu­tor added that on 21 April, Haru­peri hired two kom­bis and went to Zimra armed with the court or­der to col­lect the ci­garettes.

“She was sup­posed to col­lect only 8 boxes but she and Shereni loaded 92 boxes in the two boxes, and did not record them in the ac­quit­tals book as well.

The of­fi­cer ran out of luck when one of the ware­houses’ su­per­vi­sors picked the anom­aly dur­ing rou­tine checks and made a re­port to the po­lice.

The con­tra­band worth $25 620 was not re­cov­ered.

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