Zimbabwe: Bid to Smuggle $866k Bronco Backfires

1 October 2020

A truck driver has been arrested at Beitbridge Border Post on charges of smuggling 4 300 bottles of BronCleer, with a street value of $866 000 into Zimbabwe.

BronCleer, a cough syrup with high alcohol content and containing the restricted codeine, is banned in Zimbabwe, but is popular with drug-abusers. It is commonly known by its street name "Bronco".

There is rampant smuggling of BronCleer into the country.

The 4 300 bottles were stashed in a truck towing two trailers with a legal cargo of bitumen tar drums from South Africa.

Law enforcement agents at the border post discovered 86 boxes each containing 50x100ml bottles of BronCleer when they stopped and searched the haulage truck, which was on its way to Harare.

Four suspects have since been arrested and charged under the Medicines and Allied Substances Act and for smuggling.

In August, a truck driver was intercepted at Beitbridge Border Post on allegations of smuggling 12 500 bottles of BronCleer with a street value of $2,5 million from South Africa.

Dennis Norman Gwangava (27) appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Toyindepi Zhou, who released him on $15 000 bail.

He was facing charges under the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act.

The State alleged that on July 28, Gwangava of Redcliff, who is employed as a driver by a South African registered company, G and H Transport, was arrested by police following a tip-off.

Detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics received information that Gwangava had smuggled the cough syrup using his haulage truck, which was towing two trailers.

At the Masvingo turn-off in Beitbridge, police intercepted the truck and escorted it to the police station, where a search was conducted leading to the recovery of 12 500x100ml bottles of the cough syrup, which is a medicine containing codeine, which is controlled and restricted.

The cough syrup was taken to Beitbridge District Hospital pharmacy for examination and the report is an exhibit, which will be produced in court.

Cases of smuggling have been on the increase in Beitbridge, with some of the smugglers mostly using illegal entry points.

Beitbridge police recently arrested 35 people carrying an assortment of goods worth thousands of dollars, which they had smuggled into Zimbabwe through an illegal crossing point located less than 1km from the main port of entry.

The gang was arrested after the police intensified efforts to reduce intrusive leakages along Zimbabwe's border with South Africa.

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