The judge said the harsh sentence was needed as a deterrent.

Five men were arrested for smuggling an assortment of skin lightening creams and tablets worth US$5,437.

The smugglers were slapped with a six-month imprisonment each. Magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga, however, gave the convicts an option to pay $50,000 fine each.

In passing sentence, Mhlanga decried the prevalence of racketeering across the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

He noted that unscrupulous individuals were using illegal routes to sneak in prohibited goods into the country.

The harsh sentence was a deterrent to curb the vice, the magistrate added.

The state case, led by Phillip Urayai was that on 4 March this year, the accused persons connived to smuggle contraband consisting of various kinds of skin bleaching creams and tablets, among other commodities, which they loaded onto two speedboats.

Extracts from a New Zimbabwe article (original). Published 29 March 2021.