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Eddie Customs flagged for smuggling vehicles

State security departments have launched an investigation into the operations of some vehicle clearing agencies amid allegations that they are involved smuggling of stolen cars and doctoring temporal import permits.
Among the clearing and forwarding companies that are under the microscope include Eddie Customs, a local clearing agencies that is being suspected of helping it’s clients smuggle vehicles.

According to sources within the military and the central intelligence unit, some firms are evading the taxman dodging payment of duty while some are under declaring their imports.

According to a report compiled the military intelligence department and shared among the security agencies, reveal that Eddie customs should be probed for smuggling of vehicles and illegal sale of vehicles that would have been brought into the country through temporary import license.

“There is suspension that Eddy Customs is assisting people smuggle vehicles and goods into Zimbabwe. Vehicles that would have entered the country under the temporary import permit are being sold illegally without them being cleared and the required taxes paid,” read part of the report seen.

Eddie Customs is owned by Edward Winston Chitsvariwa. Also the military intelligence team suspect that the agencies are helping civil servants process their duty free schemes and later sale the same vehicles illegally.

“We understand that some are importing cars for garages that sell cars and some for their relatives. Our concern is that we cannot allow abuse. We have plus or minus 14 000 cars if am not mistaken. That’s a huge number because it’s not just free benefit, Government forfeits revenue by allowing these cars to come in.

So, we are saying yes, our employees cannot afford to buy cars, and for you to afford we can remove the tariff but now if our employees are using that tariff to benefit other quotas we wonder,” read part of the report.
In December The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) urged the public and entities in possession of imported vehicles which were not properly cleared with the tax collector to regularise the process by December 15 or suffer forfeiture of the movable property.

ZIMRA said irregular cases include vehicles that could have been undervalued smuggled, imported on temporary importation permits and where the permit should be rectified.

Others include cases where vehicles were acquired out of procedure, or where a regular permit or Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) have expired.

The tax collector said some of the cars could have been cleared through a false claim to a rebate or suspension of duty or any other violation of the legislation governing the importation of vehicles.

The security report allege that Eddie Customs did not clear some of the vehicles it imported for clients.
Attempts to get a comment from Chitsvariwa were fruitless as his number was unreachable.


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