CHIREDZI — Police last week intercepted a 7-tonne truck laden with over 500 boxes of pacific storm cigarettes which they suspected were being smuggled out of the country to Mozambique through Sango border post.
BY PATRICK CHITONGO
Sources said the truck was spotted at Dema section in Triangle at night by police officers who conducted a search on the vehicle and found the boxes.
The driver of the truck allegedly told the officers that he was driving to Chikombedzi but failed to give a satisfactory explanation as to where he had bought the cigarette boxes.
He was subsequently forced to drive to Triangle police station for further questioning.
When Standardcommunity visited the police station last week, the intercepted truck was still parked at the camp.
Police officers said the driver of the truck and his assistant were likely to be charged with smuggling or theft since they failed to produce receipts to prove the source of the cigarettes.
Officer commanding Chiredzi district, Engelbert Wilson confirmed intercepting the truck but referred further questions to Masvingo provincial acting police spokesperson, Charity Mazula.
Mazula, however, said she had not been informed of the incident.
“At the moment, I am not aware of the issue but I am checking with the district liaison officer,” she said.
It is illegal to export tobacco through unregistered traders but the commodity has been finding its way out of Zimbabwe through the country’s porous borders.
Mozambique and South Africa are said to be ready markets for local tobacco, especially Remington Gold, Pacific Storm and Madison brands.