GWERU - A 35-year-old man from Gweru was fined US$400 for transporting 131 trafficked second-hand clothes and shoes valued at $34 113.
Isaac Pandukai (35) of Number 92, 9th Street, Gweru, appeared before provincial magistrate Phathekile Msipa and pleaded guilty to a smuggling charge.
Appearing for the State, Andrew Marimo, told the court that Pandukai was arrested on May 11 in Gweru with 128 bales of second hand clothing, three bales of new satchels and one bale of new shoes, valued at US$34 113.
The accused was on his way from to Gweru from Mutare.
In mitigation, Pandukai told the court that he had only been hired by the owner of the goods, who had had his car broken down.
"I am only a driver and I was hired by the owner of the bales to transport the bales from Mutare to Gweru since his car had a breakdown. I was only trying to help and by so doing I would earn a living and look after my three minor children," Pandukai said.
"I was not aware of the fact that these bales were smuggled into the country and it wasn't my intention to go against the State and the law," said Pandukai.
The goods have since been surrendered to the State.
If Pandukai fails to pay the fine he will spend 30 days in jail.local