Police have arrested six suspects in separate incidents, recovering nearly three tonnes of mbanje and 75 bottles of banned BronCleer cough mixture as they intensify the crackdown against drug peddlers and smugglers.
Two suspects Larry Clay Manyellah (38) and Probe Zijena (21), were arrested in Mutare last week after their vehicle which was carrying a huge mbanje consignment, was involved in an accident.
The vehicle was found laden with 24x50kg sacks of mbanje weighing 1 080kg.
Police said the two suspects were driving a green Toyota Granvia along the Mutare-Masvingo Road when they were stopped at a police check point at Hot Springs but the driver did not comply. The driver then hit the drums that were at the roadblock before speeding off towards Mutare.
After realising that police were all out to arrest them, the suspects drove towards Christmas Pass where they were involved in a minor road accident before abandoning the vehicle, but they were later arrested.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and warned criminals and drug peddlers that they would be arrested.
“Police in Mutare recovered 24x50kgs sacks of dagga weighing 1 080kgs and a Toyota Granvia (registration number AFM 0627), after the vehicle was dumped by suspects near Christmas Pass. The suspects were first stopped at a police checkpoint in Hot Springs, where they disobeyed an order to stop. A high-speed chase ensued until they got to Christmas Pass where they abandoned the vehicle after being involved in a minor accident.
“Two suspects, Larry Clay Manyellah (38) and Probe Zijena (21), have since been arrested in connection with the case and have appeared before the Mutare Magistrates Court where they were remanded in custody pending bail application,” he said.
Meanwhile, police recovered another 1 870 kg of mbanje from two other suspects after they had initially arrested Robert Kelvin Ndimande for theft before recovering about 0.63kg of mbanje from him. Further investigations after Ndimande’s arrest led to the recovery of the huge mbanje consignment.
Another suspect was also arrested last week in Beitbridge and police recovered a box with 75x100mls BronCleer bottles suspected to have been smuggled into the country from South Africa.
“A 28-year-old suspect was arrested after the incessant sniffing of police dogs prompted a search leading to the recovery of the contraband. The suspect is being charged with illegal possession of drugs and investigations are underway,” Ass Comm Nyathi said.
At least 93 drug peddlers were arrested last month alone with police recovering drugs worth over $8,2 million. The arrests were effected between May 10 and 17 countrywide under the ongoing operation “No to Crystal Meth”.
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe recently said drug cartels and individuals peddling drugs in Zimbabwe or using the country as a transit point, would be hunted down and arrested.