Smugglers keep on devising new methods to try and beat the system but recent incidents have shown that the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) is up to the task and is determined to curb this underground activity. The continued interception of smuggled goods by the Authority has boosted the confidence of policy makers as calls to thwart nefarious economic activities reach a high crescendo.

At a roadblock that was organised by ZIMRA officials at Nyamapanda recently, what appeared like fuel plastic containers proved to be more than what meets the eye. The daring smugglers had concealed high value goods in fuel containers in order to evade the payment of duty and circumvent import controls.

In a related incident, various items and second-hand clothing bales were seized during a highway patrol by ZIMRA officials assisted by the local Police in Nyamapanda. The following goods were seized in the process: 357 pairs of rafters; 126 crates of Red Gin; 68 crates of Tambirane illicit beer; 104 pieces of clothing material; 33 loose shirts and four bales of second hand clothing.

Although smuggling is an offence in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, it is still rampant especially in landmine-infested areas like Nyamapanda, Forbes and Sango as smugglers use illegal crossing points to transport contraband. On a positive note, ZIMRA has - in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police - put in place strategies that make smuggling a profitless enterprise.