Luthando Mapepa Chipinge Correspondent
DETECTIVES in Chipinge have arrested three suspected smugglers who were caught in possessions of bales of second hand clothes with a street value of $150 000.
The three suspects – Kudakwashe Bhasera (36) of House Number 3731 Hobhouse 3 in Mutare, Moses Charles (44) and Zaxie Chimbiko(51) both of 8294 area 16 Dangamvura, Mutare – appeared before senior Chipinge magistrate, Mr Vuso Gapara, on Monday facing charges contravening Section 182(1) of the Customs and Exercise Duty Act.
The trio was represented by Mr Mariyanadzo of Mvere and Mariyanadzo Legal Practitioners.
They pleaded not guilty and were granted $200 bail each.
It was the State’s case led by public prosecutor Mr Witness Nyamundaya that on September 19 around 8pm, police received information to the effect that the accused persons were in possessions of the smuggled clothes. Cops who included Assistant Inspector Pauro, Sergeant Sgt Chinyama and constables Zuze and Tondoyo mounted an ambush at a feeder road at Matakura area near Clearwater in Chipinge.
“At around 8pm, Bhasera approached the ambush site driving a white truck (ADY 6060) and was followed by Chimbiko who was driving a blue Nissan Hardbody (AAX 514),” he said.
“The two vehicles were stopped by the cops and they were searched. The police officers discovered bales of second hand clothes.”
About five minutes later a white Sprinter (ADY 6163) approached the ambush site.
However, the driver sensed danger and tried to reverse the vehicle but the alert cops put spikes on the road.
The cornered driver then switched off the vehicle, removed the car keys and sped off into the darkness.
Police recovered 113 bales of second hand clothes weighing 5141 kg, 6227 pairs of used shoes packed in 128 bales, 456 pairs of new shoes packed in 6 bales, two bales of hand bags weighing 59 kg, and a bale belts weighing 38,7 kg.
There were also six bags of Mariana rice and 4 boxes of spaghetti.
The case goes for trial on October 1.