Five people have been arrested after being found with a Toyota Hilux single cab believed to have been stolen in South Africa.
The suspects, who are assisting police with investigations, were intercepted along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road last week after the vehicle had run out of fuel.
Police discovered that the vehicle had been stolen in South Africa and smuggled into the country without documentation.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) has been engaged national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi saying: “We are investigating a case in which a white Toyota Hilux single cab was stolen in South Africa on December 3, 2020 and driven to Zimbabwe.
“Police managed to arrest five suspects at Mazunga area, 255km along Bulawayo- Beitbridge Road, after the vehicle had run out of fuel. Investigations are in progress.”
This is not the first time that vehicles have been stolen in South Africa and smuggled into the country.
South Africa’s organised crime busting unit, the Hawks, recently arrested nine people, including five police officers and one immigration officer at Beitbridge Border Post, on charges of corruption, fraud and smuggling of stolen vehicles from that country into Zimbabwe during a crime intelligence driven operation code named “Mirror”.
The group had been put under surveillance for two years.
Over 40 people were also arrested in 12 months while smuggling stolen vehicles into Zimbabwe from South Africa through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River.
Smuggling of vehicles between Zimbabwe and South Africa’s border is rife, amid reports that most of the cars would be destined for Tanzania and Malawi.
Some of the vehicles also find their way on to the local market.