Zimbabwe is losing 160 000kg of fillet beef steak per month to smuggling through the country’s porous borders.
According to Business Times, the smuggling involves a meat cartel coordinated by four leading abattoirs who channel the product through Mozambique in transit to European and Asian markets.
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The abattoirs (names supplied) bribe officers at Zimbabwe’s borders, meaning the country is losing millions of dollars through smuggling.
Business Times reported sources as saying that one animal has about 8kg of fillet steak and abattoirs across the country slaughter about 20 000 cattle on average per month, translating to about 160 000kg a month. Said the source:
….The country has been slaughtering an average of 20,000 beasts per month. Therefore, that means the country has been producing 160,000kg of fillet steak but you will never see that steak in butcheries and shop shelves
This special type of steak is smuggled every day to European and Asian markets through Mozambique by a cartel consisting of four abattoirs. This cartel has been making a killing out of this smuggling taking advantage of the country’s porous borders.
This is the real business driving the operations of these abattoirs. They have been the biggest masterminds of smuggling fillet steak mostly to Mozambique.
This means the cartel is racking in close to US$3m every month from this well-orchestrated smuggling ring.
The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) spokesperson John Makamure said the anti-graft commission will act once a complaint has been lodged.
Contacted for comment by Business Times, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Sekai Nzenza said she had not received reports on the smuggling of fillet beef steak. Said Nzenza:
I have not heard about this but I think it’s a very serious matter to be investigated. Abattoirs would fall under agriculture but of course, we oversee processing and pricing. We would need to find out more.
The publication said it could not get a comment from the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Resettlement, Anxious Masuka.