BULAWAYO police detectives yesterday impounded a South African-registered vehicle and arrested five men on charges of allegedly smuggling beer, television sets, bar lights and umbrellas from the neighbouring country.
The Toyota Sprinter 25-seater registration BB50 YP GP was intercepted by detectives from the border control unit along Samuel Parirenyatwa Street as it entered Bulawayo from South Africa.
The vehicle was loaded with 35 crates of beer, five LCD television sets, bar lights and switches, and close to 8 000 umbrellas, police sources told Southern Eye yesterday.
The vehicle that was being driven by Lucky Ndlovu was impounded and driven to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) depot adjacent the National Railways of Zimbabwe’s Raylton Club.
The Southern Eye saw the impounded vehicle and the smuggled goods at the Zimra depot yesterday.
Bulawayo police spokesperson inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo was said to be off-duty and his office asked Southern Eye to call this morning for an official comment.
Smuggling of goods, especially cigarettes, is rampant at the Beitbridge border post.
Recently, the South African Police Service convened a multi-sectorial summit to deal with cigarette smuggling from Zimbabwe.
Experts say smuggling threatens the viability of most sectors of the economy, with potato farmers, for example, saying smuggled potatoes were driving them out of business.