The Sunday News
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE National Security Taskforce has intensified the crackdown on smuggling activities between Zimbabwe and South Africa and intercepted 68 buses carrying suspected smuggled goods worth millions of dollars in import duty in the last 30 days.
The buses were busted between 1 September and 8 October on major highways from Beitbridge town leading to Bulawayo and Harare and other urban centres. During the same period, 10 000 people were arrested and fined, while others were sent to the courts for various cross-border-related crimes.
It is understood the smugglers are shipping the goods through illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River which they then load in buses heading to various towns and cities across the country. Others are using buses carrying Zimbabwean migrants returning home by road through the Beitbridge Border Post.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment yesterday.
However, one border security official said the buses were being intercepted at the police checkpoints and the Beitbridge Border Post. The official said in the last three days three buses were intercepted along the road leading to Harare carrying an assortment of undeclared goods.
“We have taken the buses to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for import duty calculations. 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,” said the official who refused to be named.