Smuggling dragnet intercepts 68 buses

Source: Smuggling dragnet intercepts 68 buses | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Thupeyo Muleya
Beitbridge Bureau

SIXTY-EIGHT (68) buses suspected to be transporting smuggled goods worth millions between Zimbabwe and South Africa were intercepted by the National Security Taskforce over the past 30 days.

The buses were busted between September 1 and October 8 on major highways from Beitbridge to Bulawayo, Harare and other urban centres.

During the same period, 10 000 people were arrested and fined, while others were hauled before the courts for various cross-border-related crimes.

A border security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said buses were being intercepted at police checkpoints and the border post.

The official said in the last three days, three buses were intercepted along the highway leading to Harare carrying an assortment of undeclared goods.

“We have taken the buses to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) for import duty calculations,” said the official.

“One of the buses, Mulaudzi Transport, was intercepted at the Chicago checkpoint loaded with various goods we believe had been smuggled.

“The bus was half-full with the goods, mainly bales of new clothes, and its trailer was also loaded to full capacity.

“The other two are Graca Luxury Coaches and Vuki.

“We are not relenting; we will not give the smugglers any breathing space.”

Our Bulawayo Bureau later established that some of the contraband includes electrical gadgets, groceries and other prohibited goods.

Authorities believe smuggling syndicates are shipping the smuggled goods through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River before loading them in buses headed to various towns and cities across the country.

Others are using buses carrying Zimbabwean migrants returning home by road through Beitbridge Border Post.

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment.

Zimbabwe has beefed up security along its border with South Africa after it emerged that smuggling and other crimes were rife along the border.

Drones have been deployed for airborne security patrols, while police and army horse-mounted units and the canine sections are on the ground.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0