Police in Zimbabwe are looking for a truck driver, Wonder Muswere, who evaded arrest by outpacing customs officials during a 250km chase on the Beitbridge – Masvingo highway on Wednesday last week.
The truck driver allegedly fled from Beitbridge Border Post in his Volvo rig pulling a superlink with a load of smuggled groceries.
Customs officials eventually caught up with the fleeing truck after a 250km high-speed chase but the driver had already abandoned the truck and disappeared into the nearby fields.
It’s alleged that Muswere, driving a Volvo truck towing superlink trailers, was ordered by Zimra into the Beitbridge container depot for a physical check of his cargo, but instead, he smashed through the traffic control boom and sped off with an anti-smuggling team in pursuit on the new highway towards Masvingo.
“He smashed through a second boom at the Lutumba tollgate on the Beitbridge-Masvingo-Harare highway before crashing through drums at a security checkpoint at Bubi,” a Beitbridge Zimra source said.
“The suspect was pursued from the border post to the Renco Mine area along the Ngundu-Chiredzi road. He pulled off the road and fled on foot after realizing he had been cornered.
“The vehicle was seized and is now in Chiredzi. We also seized another truck from the same company and two trailers”
The second truck was carrying groceries similar to the first, but the second driver was cornered at the Beitbridge container depot, where it is still being held.
Both trucks were destined for Harare.
Further investigations into the matter are in progress.
In a statement yesterday, police said they were still pursuing Muswere and appealed to anyone with information to contact their nearest police station.
“The police and other security agencies pursued and impounded a 36-tonne truck, with a Volvo horse registration number AFJ0039 towing two trailers AEZ9662 and AEZ9665.
“The driver of the vehicle, Wonder Muswere, is currently on the run and investigations are underway. We are appealing to anyone with information on the whereabouts of Muswere to contact the nearest police station.”
Syndicates use commercial trucks and buses to evade customs regulations and avoid duties, with some border officials suspected of being involved in some of the rackets.
Investigators find that most goods being smuggled into Zimbabwe are groceries, alcoholic beverages and banned substances such as some cough syrups, and genetically modified foods destined for informal supermarkets and tuck shops nationwide.