Bogus Immigration Officer Fined $100k
A 44-year-old Beitbridge man believed to be part of a syndicate using fake customs and immigration stamps to clear travelers and goods at the border post, has been fined $100 000.
Thomas Chidza was arrested on March 19 by border security officials during a sting operation at his bogus immigration office.
Police found Chidza in possession of two fake Zimbabwean immigration date stamps, three fake South African immigration date stamps, and one inkpad.
He appeared in court charged with possession of articles for criminal use.
The Herald reports that Beitbridge resident magistrate Toyindepi Zhou slapped Chidza with a $100 000 fine or 12-month imprisonment and suspended another six months for five years on condition of good behavior.
The State represented by Cloudios Karinga proved that Chidza was nabbed at around 2 am on March 19 after assisting a South African bus crew member to enter Zimbabwe by endorsing his passport with a fake immigration stamp the previous day.
The court heard that Chidza was also in possession of seven passports belonging to Norman Mandaza, Handsome Luphahla, Moses Djaji, Samuel Kasimu, Maimba Stanley Chimwende, Wilson Banda, and Majidhu Kazembe, which had come for clearance.
Chidza was subsequently arrested and his tools of the trade were confiscated.
Chidza’s arrest comes a few years after the fake stamps’ syndicates were dismantled by border officials when they nabbed two of the kingpins with 48 fake immigration and customs stamps.
Vanu Juawo and Osman Sibanda were found in possession of 41 replica stamps of the South African Immigration Department and seven imitations of the Zimbabweans immigration authorities’ date stamps.
The two were busted soon after endorsing the fake stamps on six passports.
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