Two more Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) officials have been arrested and arraigned before the courts for criminal abuse of office after they released an assortment of goods the state had seized for violating customs laws.
It is the state’s case that the duo, Nelson Chinguwo and Innocent Sithole, released the goods to their owner thereby prejudicing the state of over $6,2 million USD8 000 in import revenue.
Chinguwo, who is alleged to have released goods valued at $5.9 million and US$8 000 was remanded to December 24 on $30 000 bail while Sithole who is accused of releasing goods worth $160 000 and was remanded to the same date on $20 000 bail when they appeared before Beitbridge Resident Magistrate, Mr Toyindepi Zhou.
The assortment of goods was seized at Beitbridge Border Post in June this year from various people for violating customs laws and were subject to release on conditions the owners paid import duty amounting to $6.2 million and US$8 000.
Prosecutor Mr Ronald Mugwagwa told the court that between November 24 and December 3, Chinguwo released part of the goods attracting the import duty of $5.9 million to their owners, while Sithole released goods worth $160 000.
Mugwagwa further told the court that the matter came to light after a senior official at Zimra checked the records after seeing some of the owners leaving the State warehouse at Manica Transit Shed.
The official then discovered that the duo had tampered with records to cause the release of the said consignment.
The matter was reported and the duo was eventually arrested.
This comes after three Zimra officials had been arrested last week for smuggling a fuel tanker prejudicing the state of US$85 000 in import duty.
Authorities believe that every year, the country is losing over a billion US dollars to smuggling of goods through the country’s porous borders.