3 ZIMRA EMployees were arrested and hauled before the court after they cleared 4 fuel tankers in Beitbridge allowing the importers to bypass paying duty on the fuel, the Chronicle reports.
The trio Fananidzai Maramba, Takunda Nyambi, and Kudakwashe Tinonetsana was arrested on 7 December and they appeared before the Beitbridge Resident Magistrate, Mr. Toyindepi Zhou charged with criminal abuse of office and they were remanded out of custody on $15 000 bail each.
It is the state’s case that:
On December 7 at around 2PM, the trio reported for duty on the imports commercial section.
Maramba and Nyambi were deployed to the commercial imports scan point while Tinonetsana was stationed at the last man where trucks are checked for compliance before exiting the border.
The court further heard that among other duties, the accused persons receive customs imports documents including Bills of Entries on all commercial cargo and verify their authenticity in the Zimra online clearance system.
However, at around 7PM, four Bakers Tankers carrying unleaded petrol arrived from South Africa being cleared by Moyo.
The accused persons are alleged to have hatched a plan to facilitate the importation of the fuel using fake customs documents.
Mr Mugwagwa alleges that when Moyo handed over the fake documents to Maramba and Nyambi at the scanning, they processed them manually instead of using the online facility as required.
Moyo again tendered the documents to Tinonetsana who allegedly used the same method to give the tankers the green light to leave the border.
The State alleges the tankers were intercepted by alert members of the Zimra anti-smuggling unit while about to leave the border post.
The documents were then verified online and it was proved that they were fake, further investigations also revealed that the trio had not used the online method to process fuel clearance.
Each tanker would have paid $20 000 in import duty were they not assisted by the trio, they were arrested by the Zimra anti-smuggling team which intercepted the tankers and discovered they did not pay duty.