An official in Zimbabwe’s National Security Taskforce who prefers to be anonymous says between March 1 and April 28, the countrt intercepted 54 buses carrying a miscellany of smuggled goods worth over US$20 million.
Following numerous reports of smuggling and other criminal activities at the country’s border with South Africa, the Taskforce was deployed on January 5 at the recommendation of the National Joint Operations Committee (JOC).
“We have been intercepting some of the buses at security checkpoints between Beitbridge and Harare and Bulawayo.
We have established that in most cases the smugglers are using illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River to bring in commercial goods which they then load in buses at Dulivhadzimu bus terminus for onward transmission to various towns and cities nationwide.”
Most merchants travel to the border town of Beitbridge and illegally cross into South Africa through various entry points, and then bring back hordes of goods for resale.
They then load in intercity buses at Dulivhadzimu bus terminus, which is currently handling an average of 10 buses daily down from 28-30. This is due to strict Covid-19 protocols being implemented by the government.
Common goods that are being smuggled into the country include building material, vehicles, minerals, cigarettes, stolen livestock, fuel, livestock, flea market wares, illicit medicines, groceries, fuel, tyres, genetically modified (GMOs) vegetables and fruits, electrical gadgets, and vehicles among others.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they had resorted to naming and shaming bus companies involved in smuggling contrabands.
Bus companies involved in the smuggling scandals will have their licences revoked by the Ministry of Transport.
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