Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and other security agents have intensified patrols along Limpopo River, which borders the country with South Africa to minimise cases of border jumping and smuggling.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, warned those involved in criminal activities along the border that their days were numbered.
He said ZRP had intercepted four-vehicles along the border laden with goods worth thousands of rands.
Asst Comm Nyathi said most of the smuggled goods include food items, washing powder and diapers.
“We are busy on the ground and have increased patrols with the assistance of other security agencies,” he said.
“So far we intercepted four vehicles with smuggled goods with a combined import duty of $157 238. Two of the vehicles, a Dyna Truck and a Toyota Hiace that were being driven by two Beitbridge men were intercepted at Panda Mine area while two others were intercepted on the Limpopo River banks. The names of the suspects will be released in due course.
“We are employing a number of strategies to ensure there is full compliance with the laws of the land and we get all those involved in this criminal vice”.
He said most criminals were using illegal crossing points where the river bed was dry.
Asst Comm Nyathi said they will not take lightly to anyone trying to compromise the public health and also promote intrusive leakages. He said the net was closing in on most suspects.
The Limpopo River that stretches over 300km between Zimbabwe and South Africa is believed to have more than 200 illegal crossing points.
South of the river, the South Africans are hard at work installing an R37 million fence to minimise illegal activities.
However, the fence has already been vandalised by criminals before the project is even complete. Illicit cigarettes worth millions of rand find their way into the neighbouring country, while banned food items and vegetables are smuggled into Zimbabwe.
In addition, stolen vehicles destined to countries north of the Zambezi are finding their way through the river in transit to their final destinations.