A Zambian has been slapped with a R60, 000 fine or in default to serve a four year jail term by the Lephalale Regional Court in Limpopo Province, South Africa for importing bleaching creams into that country.

George Kangwa, a 39-year-old truck driver, has been handed a fine or a custodial sentence after he was caught smuggling boxes of bleaching creams.

Kangwa was caught at Martins Drift Border Control at the Bostwana/South Africa border last month.

He will serve four years if he fails to pay the fine of R60, 000 fine.

Meanwhile, the court in its judgment has has extended its sympathy by not forfeiting to the state the said  truck belonging to DMY International after it established that  the convict  (Kangwa) carried the consignments in his own will.

The court has, however, advised the owners of the Truck to secure the release of their vehicle.

South Africa has banned the importation of bleaching creams that contain mercury, hydroquinone and other banned substances.

Last month, four Zambians, among them two drivers, were given similar sentences for the same offence.

Meanwhile, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has expressed concern over the increasing number of cases Zambians are facing regarding banned skin creams, soaps and related products.

He has warned that the consequences were severe and in many cases, the importers, besides facing long jail sentences, risked the forfeiture of the vessels used such as buses or trucks.

High Commissioner Mwamba advised bus services and truck drivers to ensure that no passengers were in possession of banned substances and that they follow the law especially on bleaching creams and other prohibited merchandise.

This is according to a press statement released by first secretary Press and Public Relations at the Zambia High Commission in Pretoria,

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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