Duo busted with $6, 2 million drugs at border
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
TWO men from Bulawayo have been arrested by security agents at the Beitbridge Border Post while smuggling a contraband of mbanje (marijuana/dagga) and prohibited cough syrup all with a combined value of $6,2 million.
The duo was travelling in a South African registered Iveco Minibus from the neighbouring country and heading to Bulawayo.
Principal Mpofu (30) of Magwegwe North and Cosmos Mhodi (39) of Pumula South have since appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba.
They were charged for contravening a section of the Criminal Law, Reform and Codification and the Medicine and Allied Substances Control Acts.
Mpofu and Mhodi ran into trouble after they were caught shipping 31kgs of dagga and 718 by 100ml of Benylin cough syrup.
Mpofu who was driving the vehicle was released on $70 000 bail pending trial and ordered to surrender his passport to the clerk of court and to report once a fortnight at Magwegwe Police station.
His accomplice, Mhodi who is alleged to be the mastermind of the crime was denied bail and remanded in custody.
They will both return to court on October 31.
Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said the duo arrived at Beitbridge Border Post on October 12 at around 3am travelling in an Iveco minibus that was being driven by Mpofu.
He said the two men parked the car at the light cross border transporters bay (Malume zone) to carryout border formalities.
Physical Examinations on their vehicle were then carried out by customs authorities, who with the assistance of the K9 Unit recovered 30 wrapped cobs of dagga concealed in four boxes of cremora powder milk.
The recovered dagga was seized and weighed 31, 765 kilograms with a street value of $3 176, 500.
The state said further searches of the vehicle led to the discovery of 718 by 100 ml of Benylin cough syrup that were wrapped in five green sacks with a street value of $3 101, 760.
Both the dagga and Benylin cough syrup with a combined value of $6 278,260 have been seized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra). @tupeyo