Police tighten screws on ‘porous’ border posts

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s quest to maintain law and order at border points continues as they embarked on massive operation to avoid leakages starting with the busy Beitbridge border post  .

Police pounced on smuggling syndicates who have prejudiced the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) millions of dollars.

Speaking to this publication on Thursday, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police have arrested several culprits and impounded vehicles.

 “We have so far impounded ten vehicles among them are five buses that were carrying smuggled goods through the border but not declaring them properly to ZIMRA.

“I cannot state exactly the number of people arrested so far because the number is increasing everyday both traders and border officials (ZIMRA Officers) are being apprehended and we are not stopping until all cross border traders are complying with the trading laws that are in place,” said Nyathi.

Nyathi further said patrol teams are in place for surveillance between the Beitbridge to Harare and Bulawayo highways to intercept suspected vehicles.

He further said the current operation is meant to make sure cross border traders are in compliance with the country’s laws and those that choose to ignore should face the long arm of the law.

“It’s not a raid as such, rather an operation meant to bring sanity to the country’s entry points, telling every ‘would be’ importer or exporter to use the designated points and comply with laws that are in place,” he explained.

Added Nyathi:

“The operation is on-going and will spread to all ports of entry. Members of the public are thus urged to fully comply with the Customs and Excise laws and processes when importing goods into the country”

By Wednesday afternoon, the ZRP had apprehended vehicles with fake declaration forms and ZIMRA confiscated an assortment of goods which had prejudiced the tax authority RTGS$175 624,29

A close source told this publication that the anti-corruption unit was targeting bus operators who are working in cahoots with ZIMRA officials to smuggle goods and write fake declaration forms.