Zimbabwean who smuggled R9 million gold into SA escapes with fine
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A Zimbabwean man caught smuggling 23 gold bars concealed in a whisky box has been fined R40,000 or alternatively two years’ imprisonment by a South African court.
The gold worth R9 million (US$487,000) has been forfeited to the state.
Tashinga Nyasha Masinire, a former driver of Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya, was caught with the gold during a random search by customs officers after landing at OR Tambo International Airport in May 2021.
He was released on R100,000 bail by the Kempton Park Magistrates Court pending trial. The bail was revoked after Masinire tried to have the case withdrawn using fraudulent documents.
Captain Lloyd Ramovha of South Africa’s elite investigations unit, the Hawks, said: “During the Hawks’ follow-up investigation, it emerged that Masinire submitted representations with fabricated information in a bid to have the case withdrawn.
“After he realised that the case presented by investigators had no loopholes, he elected to plead guilty on February 23.”
Masinire was sentenced last week after the court found him guilty of contravening the Customs and Excise Act.