HomeNewsClothing bale smugglers caught after movie-style escape bid

Clothing bale smugglers caught after movie-style escape bid

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Two brothers who were part of a gang that tried to evade arrest movie-style on their way from Mozambique with an illegal consignment of second-hand clothing worth $27 000, have been brought to court.

John (27) and Zexie Chimbiko (45) were remanded to August 12 for trial when they appeared before Mutare magistrate Noah Gwatidzo facing three counts of smuggling, kidnapping and escaping from lawful custody.

On the first count, the court heard on July 24, the accused were carrying a consignment of second-hand clothes from Mozambique, using two Hino trucks and a Nissan Hardbody.

They allegedly crossed into the country through an illegal point known as Map-Off.

However, acting on a tip-off, four detectives and a uniformed police officer armed with AK rifles reportedly followed the trucks and positively identified them, hiding in a wattle plantation with 100 bales of second-hand clothes.

On count two involving kidnapping police officers, the court heard after police positively identified themselves to the accused they ordered them to drive to Mutare Central Police under police escort.

The detectives reportedly boarded the accused’s vehicles, but instead of driving towards Mutare, they allegedly suddenly turned and headed for Mozambique.

One detective is said to have fired a shot onto the windscreen of the Nissan vehicle in a bid to stop them, but they allegedly refused to stop.
They then reduced speed which enabled the detectives to jump off.

The police officers are said to have proceeded to fire seven shots at the moving vehicle, but the suspects did not stop.

On count three, the court heard John Chimbiko failed to negotiate a curve as he sped into Mozambique with the detectives and lost control of the vehicle resulting in it landing in a ditch.

Two police officers who were inside the vehicle escaped unhurt and rearrested him as he tried to run away. His gang allegedly drove off at high speed into Mozambique thereby escaping from lawful custody.

The brothers pleaded not guilty and are out on $150 bail each.

Truman Joma prosecuted.

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