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Eight suspected members of a smuggling syndicate, including four Zambians, have been arrested in Binga following a smuggling case that led to the recovery of four boats, 34 bales of clothes and groceries.

The eight suspects were arrested Wednesday morning after Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management rangers who were on a routine patrol of Lake Kariba found them offloading their contraband.

ZRP National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest, which took place at Masumu Bay in Binga, adding that part of the goods recovered include groceries and 34 bales of clothes.

Still in Binga, two villagers from Tinde village under Chief Pashu died from suspected suffocation after going down a water well they had been hired to extend.

Matabeleland North Police spokesperson, Inspector Glory Banda, confirmed the incident.

“On the 7th of April at around 0900hrs, two males succumbed to suffocation after being lowered down a well by the means of a windlass. The tragedy occurred in Tinde area under Chief Pashu in Binga.

“The first man got down intending to ascertain whether the well had foot holes in its walls before he could start draining the water but sadly suffocated. In a bid to rescue his colleague the second man got down and before long he was complaining of lack of oxygen,” she said.

One body was retrieved on Wednesday and the other is yet to be retrieved.

A total of 22 drowning-related deaths were recorded in Matabeleland North province during the first two months of the year. -zbc