George Madziva, a Central Intelligence Operation agent believed to be the kingpin in the underground network involved in the smuggling of vehicles into the country was arrested last week. It is believed that Madziva, who is well-connected, played a key role in the smuggling of vehicles into the country by providing number plates stolen from the Office of the President and Cabinet in Zimbabwe, NewsDay reported citing court papers. He appeared in court and was granted US$800 bail along with his accomplice, Godfrey Bvenura.

According to court documents, Madziva works in the research and development unit of the President’s Department in Harare. He, together with Bvenura and another individual named Simba, who is still at large, submitted a fraudulent application to the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR). They falsely claimed that the President’s Department needed registration documents and plates for a Renault Duster vehicle, pretending that it belonged to the department.

The CVR processed the application based on the misrepresentation, but the deputy registrar became suspicious upon discovering that someone else had also applied for plates on behalf of the President’s Department. The police and the President’s Department were informed of the situation.

On October 11, Madziva and Bvenura went to the CVR to collect the registration book and plates but were unable to do so as the deputy registrar was unavailable. The following day, Bvenura was arrested while attempting to receive the registration materials, while Madziva managed to escape.

Several members of the President’s Department have previously been arrested for similar offences. Another State security agent, Tatenda Dzapasi, an aide to Vice President Kembo Mohadi, has also faced similar allegations and was granted bail.