Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Police have intensified patrols around illegal crossings over the Limpopo River where smuggling of people and goods has become rampant in the last few weeks.
The common illegal crossing points used by criminals to jump the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe illegally, include the Spillway, which is located 500 metres east of Beitbridge Border Post, and Dulivhadzimu Gorge about 3km west of the bridges.
Criminals smuggling groceries and flea market wares across the border were carrying these over the river at the two points and Zimbabweans were “border jumping” to avoid mandatory quarantine, with the police arresting between 20 and 30 people at these points daily.
The police have managed close down an illegal taxi rank, which had been opened by criminals near the DA’s Camp in the eastern part of Beitbridge town.
Police officer commanding Beitbridge Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo yesterday said police had impounded eight vehicles from the illegal taxi rank.
“Patrols are in full swing. We are not leaving any stone unturned and we want to strongly warn those involved in criminal activities along the border that the long arm of the law will catch up with them,” he said.
Police have seized 1 110 litres of petrol, bales of clothes and an assortment of groceries and electrical gadgets in recent raids being carried across the river at these two points, he said.