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Zimra intercepts NRZ wagon wheels in Beitbridge

by Thupeyo Muleya
13 Aug 2016 at 09:28hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has seized three trucks carrying 18 tonnes of NRZ wagon wheels which were being smuggled into South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post.

It is understood that the wagon wheels, which were destined for Treppo, a South African company, were acquired from the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

The parastatal stood to lose thousands of dollars had the extra load been successfully smuggled.

A border official said yesterday that the company had declared that the trucks were carrying 27 tonnes each, but they loaded extra 6 tonnes in every truck.

"They were intercepted last week on the export section following a tip-off. The three trucks are part of 48 others, whom we understand were hired to carry the wagon wheels from Bulawayo to South Africa.

"Indications are that they have taken advantage of the unavailability of a weighbridge on the export section to smuggle the excess loads," said the official.

He said upon interception, the three trucks were weighed and were each carrying 33 tonnes of the wagon wheels instead of the 27 declared as scrap steel.

The three vehicles were in turn seized by zimra pending further investigations.

The value of the contraband is yet to be ascertained.

NRZ spokesperson Mr Martin Banda distanced the parastatal from the smuggling saga yesterday, saying Treppo was responsible for exporting the wagon wheels to South Africa.

He said the company bought a total of 535 tonnes of scrap steel, which was to be transported to South Africa in 21 trucks.

"The initial arrangement was for them to carry the whole load in 21 trucks, but they came in with 16 which are equally big and loaded more steel (wagon wheels) in those vehicles.

"We gave them all their consignment at once and the issues around transportation and exports was done by the same company, " he said.

Source - Herald