Walter Nyamukondiwa Kariba Bureau
An overloaded boat sank on Wednesday night leading to the discovery of a contraband of smuggled bales (highlighted) of clothes at Msampakaruma Island in Lake Kariba. The contraband is believed to have been smuggled from Zambia.
The incident took place at Msampakaruma Bay when the boat, a Dolphin mini houseboat, tilted to one side under the weight of the bales of clothes.
Water started filling in the boat and it sank before members of the smuggling syndicate, believed to have been coming from Kariba Town and their Zambian links, disappeared in other boats.
The semi sunken boat was left behind with its captain at the island. The boat had been hired at Marineland Harbour and people became worried after it did not return by yesterday morning.
“The MV Jesamine KF230 was hired out and it did not return as expected while communication was lost leading to alarm being raised,” said sources close to the case.
When authorities visited Msampakaruma Island yesterday, only the captain of the hired boat was found hiding in nearby bushes.
The bales of clothes were left behind.
According to some sources, the smuggled bales were coming from as far as Dubai. Investigations into the incident and the people behind the botched smuggling racket are in progress.
The vast waters of Lake Kariba and high number of boats makes it easier for smuggling syndicates to breach the invisible water boundary.