Tendai Gukutikwa Post Correspondent
FOUR Harare men who were arrested smuggling 416 bales of second-hand clothing worth $145 000 have been sentenced to two years’ imprisonment.
Fulton Dolobo (34), Malvin Mari (35), Emmanuel Mupona (34) and Brian Muchenje (35), all of Kambuzuma, Harare, were convicted on their own guilty pleas when they appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.
Mr Mahwe had slapped the four with a 24-month jail term each, but suspended 12 months on condition of good behaviour for the next five years. The remaining 12 months were also wholly suspended on condition that they pay $1 000 in fine each.
In sentencing them, Mr Mahwe said it was the duty of the court to keep first offenders out of court, thus the quartet’s fine option. He, however, said they deserved the hefty fines the court ordered them to pay as smuggling was on the rise and needed to be stopped.
On September 6, Detective Isheunesu Magune, who is stationed at the Minerals Border Control Unit, received information to the effect that Mupona and Muchenje had smuggled bales of second-hand clothing and shoes through Penhalonga illegal crossing area that were destined for Harare.
The detective and his colleagues intercepted the pair’s motor vehicle which was being driven by Mupona. A search was conducted leading to the recovery of the 197 bales and 14 sacks of second-hand clothing, shoes and dolls.
The pair was asked to produce declarations or relevant papers pertaining the goods, which they failed to do. The value of the smuggled goods is $60 000. “On the same date, Detective Norman Chahuruva also intercepted Dolobo and Mari and recovered 236 bales and 19 sacks of second-hand clothing, shoes, handbags and dolls from their vehicle.
“They also failed to produce the relevant papers that legalised them to have the second-hand clothing in their possession,” said Mr Karombe. The value of the smuggled goods is $85 000. All in all, the smuggled goods were worth $145 000.
The 416 bales and 33 sacks of second-hand goods were forfeited to the State.