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Fake stamps syndicate man fined $100,000

by Staff reporter
12 Apr 2021 at 07:03hrs | Views
A 44-year-old Beitbridge man who is part of a syndicate using fake customs and immigration stamps to illegally clear travellers and goods at the country's port of entry has been fined $100 000 by a Beitbridge magistrate.

Thomas Chidza of Dulivhadzimu, was arrested on March 19 by border security officials during a sting operation at his bogus "immigration office". He was brought to court charged with possession of articles for criminal use.

Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Toyindepi Zhou slapped Chidza with a $100 000 fine or 12-month imprisonment.

Prosecuting, Mr Cloudios Karinga said Chidza was arrested at around 2am on March 19 after having allegedly assisted a South African bus crew member to enter the country by endorsing his passport with a fake immigration stamp the previous day. He said the police found him with two fake Zimbabwean Immigration date stamps, three fake South African Immigration date stamps.

The court heard Chidza was also in possession of seven passports belonging to Norman Mandaza, Handsome Luphahla, Moses Djaji, Samuel Kasimu, Maimba Stanley Chimwende, Wilson Banda and Majidhu Kazembe, which had come for clearance.

The State said Chidza was arrested and his tools of the trade were confiscated.

Chidza's arrest comes a few years after the fake stamps' syndicates were busted by border officials when they arrested two of the kingpins who were found with 48 fake immigration and customs stamps.

Vanu Juawo and Osman Sibanda were found in possession of 41 replica stamps of the South African Immigration Department and seven imitations of the Zimbabweans immigration authorities' date stamps.

The two were arrested soon after endorsing the fake stamps on six passports.

In 2017, a 29-year-old Zimbabwean man, Duncan Danda was jailed for six years by a Musina magistrate for opening an illegal immigration office on the SA side of the border. He was arrested at his base within the border taxi rank by the specialised crime unit, The Hawks and was convicted on two counts of contravening a section of the Immigration Act.

For the first count, he was sentenced to six years imprisonment set aside for five years and fined R10 000 for the second count. Danda was accused of giving prospective travellers a stay of up to 90 days in that country.

Source - chronicle

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