SOME vigilant Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) officials and police last week foiled an attempt by a scrap metal dealer to smuggle 12 160 metric tonnes of copper cables from into South Africa.
The alleged smuggler, Justice Chirimuta (44), of Highfield, Harare has since appeared before Beitbridge magistrate Toindepi Zhou Monday.
He is charged with smuggling, unlawful possession of copper wires and wilful damage to or interference with telecommunication lines.
He was not asked to plead to the charges and was remanded in custody to August 3 for commencement of trial.
Prosecutor Munyonga Kuvarega told the court that on July 16, Chirimuta, whose business address is Nicoscape Logistics 305 Camera, 260 Wessels Street Arcadia, Johannesburg, SA, drove a truck drawing two trailers from Zimbabwe intending to cross into South Africa.
He was intercepted by authorities after completing customs formalities and on inspection of the copper scrap, it was discovered that three were Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) overhead copper cables as well as TelOne underground cables.
These cables are not sold to or possessed by individuals.
This led to Chirimuta’s arrest and confiscation of the copper cables.
Evidence proffered by the state was that on the Bill of entry, only 7 tonnes were declared out of the 19 160 metric tonnes.
Zesa and TelOne identified their cables and pointed out that at no point had the copper been possessed by an individual, save for designated companies. newzimbabwe