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Former Deputy Minister Mukupe, accomplices jailed 3 years for smuggling fuel


Harare (New Ziana) – Former Deputy Finance and Economic Development Minister, Terence Mukupe and his three accomplices have been sentenced to an effective three years in prison each for smuggling nearly 139 000 litres of diesel into the country.

In addition, Mukupe, Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera and Leonard Mudzuto were fined US$12 780 each, which is equivalent to the US$51 120 worth of the fuel that could not be accounted for after it was loaded into a vehicle belonging to a fifth accomplice who is still at large.

Alternatively, each will serve two years in jail if they fail to pay the fine.

The quartet was initially sentenced to three-and-half years (42 months) but Justice Benjamin Chikowero conditionally suspended six months of the jail terms for five years.

While noting that the four were first offenders and family men who have moved away from the life of crime and some are involved in social responsibility activities in their communities, helping children with school needs, Justice Chikowero said the crime was premeditated and well executed by a gang of criminals.

He said the crime was extra-territorial and the quartet’s actions in money laundering amounted to economic sabotage and warranted both a fine and custodial sentence to deter other would be offenders.

Mukupe and his accomplices were convicted of unlawfully importing 138 979 litres of diesel on January 27, 2017 through the Forbes Border Post in Mutare, Manicaland province, prejudicing the State of US$55 591.60.

The quartet succeeded in smuggling the diesel after misrepresenting that it was in transit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

They however offloaded the diesel inside the country and filled the tankers with water, with the matter coming to light three days later when the suspicious ZIMRA officials intercepted the vehicles at the Chirundu One Stop Border Post to verify the nature of their cargo.

New Ziana

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