A Harare businessman was this week arrested for allegedly swindling Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) of $425 000 in a well-orchestrated scam.
Noel Chinyuku (36) the director of Arrow Freight Services which is in the business of shipping, forwarding and customs clearance and based at the Harare International Airport, is alleged to have faked invoices and bills of entry to facilitate the commission of the offence.
It is alleged that sometime in March last year, Africom imported machinery valued at $417 301 from a Chinese firm, Huawei Technology based in Shenzhen, and Zimra assessed duty in the sum of $214 930.
However, Africom is said to have contracted Real Freighters International to clear the goods with Zimra but the company in turn subcontracted Chinyuku whom they gave $214 930 to clear the goods with Zimra.
After receiving the money and the invoice from Africom, Chinyuku allegedly manufactured a fake invoice from the supplier Huawei Technology and understated the value of the imported goods to $28 011.
Chinyuku is alleged to have submitted the fake invoice to Zimra which duty amounting to $4 831 was assessed for the goods and he was issued with a bill of entry which he used to collect the machinery from Zimra Aviation Ground Services’ warehouse without paying the actual duty of $214 930.
In a bid to cover up the alleged offence from his subcontractors, Chinyuku allegedly manufactured a fake bill of entry indicating the correct amount of duty.
He allegedly attached to the said fake bill of entry the correct invoice from Huawei Technology with the correct value of the goods.
Chinyuku is alleged to have delivered the machinery to the importer, Africom, together with the fake bill of entry. Africom is said to have submitted the alleged fake bill of entry which they had received from Chinyuku to Zimra claiming a refund of their value added tax and were paid $214 930.
Chinyuku’s luck ran out when the offence was discovered by revenue specialist Enfa Tavarwisa during a routine check and the matter was reported to the police, leading to his arrest.
Chinyuku appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei facing a charge of contravening a section of the Customs Act and was released on $100 bail, ordered to report twice weekly at CID Serious Frauds and to surrender his travel documents.
Chinyuku was not asked to plead and was remanded to February 2 for routine remand. Svodai Kadivirire appeared for the state.