Trio busted smuggling  $3,4 million mbanje from SA

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

BEITBRIDGE border security officials have intercepted three men with a consignment of marijuana (mbanje) with a street value of $3,4 million which they were smuggling into the country from South Africa.

Fanuel Cheche (33), Ozzie Sibindi (42) and Bhekuthando Ncube (25) were found with 7 kgs of the hallucination inducing drug in their South African registered Toyota Quantum on Wednesday last week.

The three men who are cross-border transporters commonly known as Omalayitsha were headed for Bulawayo.

They were charged with unlawful dealing in dangerous drugs last Friday and Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba remanded them in custody to Tuesday for bail application.

Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said on September 13, the accused persons arrived at the Beitbridge border post at around 4 AM.

They were traveling in a South African registered Toyota Quantum that was carrying an assortment of goods including 7, 4kgs of mbanje.

While at the border, they allegedly hatched a plan to smuggle the drugs out of the border in small batches and gave one, Farai Kambarani a blue satchel loaded with five packets of mbanje.

Unfortunately, the man was intercepted by an alert security guard at the border which then led to the enquiry of the source of the mbanje.

Kambarami led the security guards to the trio’s vehicle which was parked at the freight terminal and pointed to Cheche as the source of the drugs.

Both Kambarami and Cheche were taken to the ZRP Beitbridge Border Post leaving behind Sibindi and Ncube.

Further searches were done on the vehicle by the police and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority canine unit leading to the discovery of more packets of mbanje.

The consignment was seized and weighed 7, 484 kilograms with a street value of $3 4742 000.00 leading to the three men’s arrest.  — @tupeyo

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