Desmond Munemo, H-Metro Reporter
POLICE have busted a goods and cars smuggling syndicate at Beitbridge Border post arresting 27 people.
Officer in Charge Chief Inspector Webster Mapepeta said they had intercepted five motor vehicles with smuggled goods.
He said there were organised syndicates between South Africa and Zimbabwe borders to steal motor vehicles into Zimbabwe adding that the syndicate had been a tough nut to crack for the police.
“We’re facing major policing challenges with regards to smuggling cases and the main challenge being of motor vehicles being smuggled into Zimbabwe from South Africa by a well-organised Zimbabwean syndicate.
“These cars are then further transported to neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and Zambia.
“We are seeing a new trend where South African citizens go to car hire companies then sell these vehicles they have been given to the Zimbabwe syndicates.
“After making sure that the car has crossed from the South African border, they then make false reports of carjacking, robberies and similar offences in their country,” said Insp Mapepeta.
Insp Mapepeta said there was an incident where an unnamed South African man hired a BMW vehicle from a well-known car hire services provider then contacted the Zimbabwean syndicates and sold the car them.
“After the payment, the car was smuggled into Zimbabwe through the Limpopo river.
“Three days later a report was made at Polokwane police station that the car had been stolen the previous night through car hijacking.
“The Beitbridge CID then reacted to the report and managed to arrest the syndicate and recovered the BMW vehicle.
“It was then discovered after the investigations that the South African citizen had connived with the syndicates and sold the car,” he said.
He urged members of the public to declare all their imported goods when entering the country.