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Hats off to security forces at Beitbridge Border

15 Oct 2021 at 06:17hrs | Views
MEMBERS of the security forces deployed along the Zimbabwe/South African border deserve praise for their efforts towards the eradication of crime at the two countries' boundary.

To date, police have arrested 55 000 people for border related crimes since the launch, in January, of operation "No to Cross Border Crimes/ Fhasi Ngamilandu Yamukanoni Yamashango/Mhosva Pamiganhu Ngadzipere/Amacala Kawaphele Emingceleni Yelizwe" in a bid to combat border related crimes such as smuggling and border jumping.

Cases of smuggling had been on the rise in the border area partly due to Covid-19 restriction measures that saw the closure of borders for non-essential activity.

The smugglers would then use inflatable boats to cross the crocodile infested Limpopo River into South Africa to hoard basic commodities for resale in Zimbabwe at exorbitant charges.

Some trucks that pass through the border have also been intercepted transporting undeclared commodities intended for sale in the country.

Others have been arrested trying to smuggle an assortment of things to either country including cigarettes, explosives among other stuff.

The hard criminals on the other hand have been caught trying to smuggle into Zimbabwe vehicles hijacked in South Africa on the dry parts of the Limpopo River. The final destination of the smuggled vehicles is either Zambia or Mozambique where they are said to have a ready market.

In a bid to bust the criminal activities, the country beefed up security along the border with drones deployed for airborne security patrols, while police and army horse-mounted units and the canine sections are on the ground.

Giving an update on their Twitter page, the police said 194 people were arrested on October 10 for various crimes committed at the border.

"On 10 October police arrested 194 people countrywide under the operation No to Cross Border Crimes/ Fhasi Ngamilandu Yamukanoni Yamashango/Mhosva Pamiganhu Ngadzipere/Amacala Kawaphele Emingceleni Yelizwe.

So far Police have arrested 55 219 people throughout the country since the operation commenced in January 2021," said the police.

The statistics prove that the security services are on top of the situation with regard to nipping crime at the border area and their efforts should be commended.

Every smuggled good that enters the country deprives the nation of revenue as no relevant tariffs are paid at the border.

The operation started realising fruits within the first month of implementation.

Prior to the deployment of more security personnel, it was estimated that Zimbabwe was losing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in potential import duty.

However, after the deployment reduced smuggling with Zimra at the beginning of the year nailing those caught for duties totalling $13 million and US$120 000.

In an interview in February, Zimra's spokesperson, Mr Francis Chimanda said between January 5 and February 5 the authority made 47 seizures of smuggled goods, compared to 22 within the same period last year.

"Between January 5 and February 5 last year, we recovered duties amounting to $105 664,49 after making 22 seizures and this year during the same period we collected a total of $13 893 920,20 and US$119 236,21 from 47 seizures," said Mr Chimanda.

On its tenth month, the operation has saved the countries of millions of what would be lost revenue due to smuggling.

The security services are urged to remain vigilant in their operations towards restoring sanity along the border.

The periodic updates on the arrests should also serve as a deterrent to all would be criminals that their activities won't escape the watchful eye of the security services and those caught breaking the law will be arrested and prosecuted.

The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa is on record that there will be no tolerance of crime in the country and the Beitbridge operation is one of the many illustrations of that declaration.

Source - The Chronicle
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