By Staff Reporter
POLICE patrol teams, on the look-out for smuggling syndicates along the Beitbridge-Harare and Beitbridge-Bulawayo highways, this week intercepted 10 cross border buses and seized smuggled goods worth over US$25 000.
The impounded buses were coming from neighbouring South Africa and were headed for Harare, Bulawayo and other small towns. The blitz, according to the police, is on-going and expected to spread to other borders.
“Patrol teams deployed on surveillance targeting smuggling activities along the Beitbridge-Harare and Beitbridge-Bulawayo roads intercepted 10 vehicles, which were carrying suspected smuggled goods,” police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said.
“The vehicles were handed over to ZIMRA (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority), in Beitbridge and the goods they were carrying were immediately seized pending verification. Value of potential prejudice of the goods is RTGS$ 175 624.25.”
Nyathi said the police were continuing with the operation and it will spread to all ports of entry.
“Members of the public are thus urged to fully comply with the Customs and Excise laws and process when importing into the country,” he said.
Crossborder trade between Zimbabwe and most Sadc countries, especially South Africa and Botswana, continues to increase due to the deteriorating economic situation in the country as well as shortages of foreign currency and basic commodities.
A depressed manufacturing sector has turned Zimbabwe into a dumping ground for goods from other countries mainly South Africa which are then smuggled into the country to avoid taxes.