Duo busted for R8,4 mlln abalone smuggling at border

Main Story Zimbabwe

Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

Border Authorities have arrested two people and seized a consignment of abalone shellfish worth R8,4 million that was being smuggled from South Africa to Zambia via Zimbabwe.

The contraband was found hidden under a load of noodles that had been declared by the importer on Wednesday.

The police officer commanding Beitbridge Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo could not be reached for comment, but a source within the Ferret said two suspects had been charged for smuggling.

“Two people have been arrested in connection with the case so far and they will appear in court on Friday,” said the source.

The border official said the truck was intercepted by the Beitbridge border post Transnational organised Crime Intelligence Unit following a tip off.

“The consignment worth R8 357 994.00 had been cleared into Zimbabwe as noodles by a Mutoko based customs clearing company. Further investigations into the case are underway,” said the official.

The smuggling of abalone shellfish is rife among Sadc countries.

Last week a Zimbabwean and a Chinese were arrested by South Africa’s organised police as they were illegally transporting dried abalone shelfish worth R10 million from Cape Town to a yet to be known destination.