The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested Harare businessman Trust Chiro for allegedly failing to pay import duty.
The arrest came after three of Chiro’s trucks were intercepted at Zindoga Shopping Centre in Waterfalls by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) after they evaded payment of import duty.
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Chiro is the director of Chirro Investments and a South African registered company, CTME Centre.
In a statement, ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure said the whereabouts of two other trucks is still unknown, while Chiro’s business partner Forget Muguza is still at large.
Makamure said in January this year Chiro allegedly “hatched a plan with Muguza, a manager at Enver Freight Services (Pvt) Ltd” to defraud the State “of import duty funds by falsely declaring consignments of groceries they were importing into the country”.
Muguza reportedly forged the signature of the late Ernest Muswera and fraudulently renewed the company bond of Enver Freight Services (Pvt) Ltd held with ZIMRA.
Muguza and Chiro alleged cleared five trucks at Beitbridge Border Post by falsely declaring the quantity of their consignment claimed to be destined to Zambia. Said Makamure:
Three of the trucks were intercepted by ZIMRA officials at Zindoga Shopping Centre in Harare and an assortment of groceries, including washing powder, foam baths, lotions, chocolates, dishwashing liquids, shoe polish, sweets and perfumes, were recovered.
Further investigations by ZACC established that the other two trucks were still on their way to Harare when the three trucks were intercepted by ZIMRA. The two trucks were driven to an unknown destination, which remains unknown.
ZACC also established that Chiro undervalued and falsely declared that the goods carried by the five trucks were worth ZAR1 410 910 yet in actual fact, the trucks were carrying goods worth ZAR6 617 188.
Their actions caused an actual prejudice of US$83 781.05 and ZWL$26 108 411.64.
The total prejudice to the State is US$388 003. 97.
Chiro was arraigned before the courts and has since applied for bail.