By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Plumtree police last week intercepted two South African registered vehicles in Plumtree, Matabeleland South that were laden with smuggled goods.
The goods were then confiscated by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).
In a statement recently, police said the two vehicles were intercepted at Madlambuzi and Mbimba business centres in Plumtree.
“On 16 May, police in Madlambuzi intercepted a grey Toyota D4D twin cab FF20 HP GP with trailer FH19PM GP laden with smuggled goods at Madlambuzi Business Centre and nabbed Mqondisi Dube, Reason Ncube and Butholezwe Mkwanazi for smuggling,” the police said.
“Police also recovered an abandoned Toyota GD6 vehicle GIMM74 with trailer 002GIF GP at Mbimba Business Centre. Meanwhile, the recovered goods were taken to Zimra. The ZRP reiterates that members of the public must follow all immigration procedures when entering or exiting the country.”
Economic commentator Reginald Shoko yesterday urged police to intensify its fight against smuggling to protect local industry and jobs.
“It is a positive development (anti-smuggling operation) for local manufacturers because they have been crying too much about a lot of imported goods that come into the country and disrupt the local value chain,” Shoko said.
“It is going to be good if this is sustained. We know police always come up with these operations. We need a long term plan to deal with these issues of smuggled goods, especially commercial goods. We must appreciate the negative impact of smuggling to the economy,” he said.
Various State security organs are involved in joint border patrols to curb illegal border crossing by returning residents with Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe saying drones will be deployed at the country’s borders.
Smuggling costs Treasury nearly US$1 billion a year in unpaid customs duty.
Health experts have also accused border jumpers and smugglers of fuelling the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding compulsory quarantine and testing.