2 jailed over fake import documents

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TWO Beitbridge residents were yesterday sentenced to 12 months’ jail terms each for illegal possession of 16 date stamps, six blank vehicle registration books and various other documents used to facilitate the importation of vehicles.
Both Thembelihle Sibanda and Tafadzwa Chinhengo were sentenced on their own pleas of guilty to possession of articles for criminal use, forgery and fraud.
In passing sentence, magistrate Langton Mukwengi noted that cases of smuggling of goods using forged documents were on the increase at the border post.
“Although you pleaded guilty, possession of articles for criminal use is on the rise. Use of fake government stamps, forgery and fraud are increasing,” he said.
The court heard that Sibanda was arrested on July 19 this year after police were tipped off about her role in vehicle smuggling syndicates.
Sibanda later implicated Chinhengo.
Some of the items recovered from Sibanda included a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority manifest control stamp, a Customs and Excise private imports stamp, three Ministry of
Industry and Commerce licence stamps, an agriculture licence stamp for Customs and Excise clearing, two South African Police clearance stamps, blank copies of scanned South African vehicle clearance documents, six blank South African vehicle registration books and two other date stamps.
From Chinhengo, police recovered two Customs bills of entry stamps, two Customs and Excise export release stamps, one Customs and Excise private imports stamp and a third party insurance stamp all used for illicit clearing of vehicles.
The articles were all forfeited to the State.