Border Police Crack Down on Smuggling Across Limpopo River

May 9, 2024
Inflatable boats seized at South AfricaZimbabwe border | Report Focus News
Inflatable boats seized at South AfricaZimbabwe border

In a concerted effort to combat smuggling activities, border police seized seven inflatable boats along the Limpopo River believed to have been used to transport counterfeit goods between Zimbabwe and South Africa. The operation was led by the Limpopo border policing team at the Beitbridge port of entry, according to police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba.

The seizures were made as part of a multidisciplinary crackdown on Tuesday, where police apprehended 26 suspects accused of engaging in illegal mining, possessing illicit cigarettes, and violating the Immigration Act. Mining equipment, including tipper trucks, an excavator, jackhammers, iron bars, and shovels, was confiscated.

Colonel Ledwaba detailed how the arrests unfolded. “This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to disrupting these criminal networks operating along our borders,” he said. The inflatable boats were primarily used to move counterfeit goods across the river, and their seizure marks a significant step in curbing this illegal trade.

The crackdown was part of a larger strategy to strengthen border security, particularly in regions vulnerable to smuggling due to their geographic location. Ledwaba highlighted the importance of collaboration between various law enforcement agencies to address the issue comprehensively.

Local communities have expressed growing concern over smuggling and illegal mining, which not only threatens legal businesses but also undermines public safety in border regions. The seized equipment, ranging from heavy machinery to hand tools, demonstrates the scale of operations that often involve organized syndicates.

The arrested suspects will appear in different magistrates’ courts where they will face multiple charges. Authorities are hopeful that these arrests will serve as a strong deterrent to others who engage in similar activities.

Border security remains a key priority, with authorities planning to enhance surveillance and patrols to prevent further illegal activities in the area. The successful operation on Tuesday is seen as a step forward in restoring control over the region and ensuring that border policing measures are effective.