Archives For Limpopo River

Police are on high alert looking for a syndicate that uses donkeys to smuggle luxury cars across the Limpopo River into the Zimbabwe.

Thieves tied ropes to the cars which were hitched on to the donkeys to pull the cars across the river.

Some cars are driven through the drier parts of the river. On Tuesday, a Mercedes Benz C220 was intercepted before it disappeared into Zimbabwe.

“Our members were just in time to pounce on them after the donkeys were apparently no longer able to pull it through the sand,” Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo  for the SA Police Service said.

The suspects fled into the bushes towards Zimbabwe side. Most of the cars are being smuggled across the river through the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, south of Beitbridge border post.

In December, police recovered a Hilux bakkie when thieves attempted to smuggle it through the river. The bakkie was stolen in Durban.

It was semi-submerged in the water when Limpopo police commissioner Lieutenant-General Nneke Ledwaba spotted it from a helicopter while he was leading a high-density operation in Musina and Beitbridge.

The vehicle and donkeys were abandoned in the middle of the river and the suspect fled into Zimbabwe. It is not clear why the thieves do not simply driver the car into Zimbabwe – one reason might be that most modern cars are fitted with a tracking device which uses satellite tracking to locate a vehicle, if stolen. The tracker is only active when the car is running.

Mojapelo said 13 vehicles have been recovered since January this year. Thieves target luxury bakkies, SUV’s, specifically Toyota and Isuzu. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal are the two provinces that are mostly affected.

Last week, four vehicles were recovered. A Range Rover worth R900 000 was recovered after police intercepted it at the Beitbridge border post. The vehicle was en route to Malawi. The man was arrested and was found in possession of cash with an estimated amount of R30 000.

Mojapelo said the car had Limpopo registration numbers, but it was still unclear where it was stolen. Source: Pictures – SAPS and article – Iavan Pijoos, News24, 2 August 2017.

Beit Bridge afloat!

January 29, 2013 — 2 Comments

I received the following pictures purportedly of traffic under siege at the Beit Bridge border post 6 days ago. Normally its the sweltering heat which man and truck have to contend with. The pictures suggest severe flooding creating anxious moments for transporter and pedestrian alike. According to the Zimbabwe Herald, authorities closed the border to traffic after the Limpopo River flooded leaving the new Limpopo Bridge inaccessible.

Beit Bridge Borderpost, Zimbabwe

Police in Beitbridge have recovered yet another consignment of cigarettes worth US$20 000 in Tshapfuche as they intensify their anti smuggling operation. The stash destined for export was recovered last Friday morning following the discovery of other contraband shipment worth almost US$500 000 in the same area the previous day.

Countries of the South African Customs Union (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland) charge high duties on cigarettes, meaning that even those bought retail in Zimbabwe can be sold for good profit in South Africa.

The police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said the second stash was recovered at the homestead of a security guard they had earlier on arrested.

The security guard was part of the three suspects who were arrested while looking after the “merchandise” at Edzisani Muleya’s homestead. Chief Supt Chinhengo said the suspect had hid 33 boxes at his sister’s homestead while he kept another 72 boxes at his house.

Three hundred and eleven boxes of Remmington Gold, 442 Cevils, 221 Dullas and 107 Newbury cigarettes worth US$500 000 were last week recovered from Muleya’s homestead. Police say the house had become an illegal transit warehouse.

Muleya has since gone into hiding and police have launched a manhunt. Chief Supt Chinhengo said the Ferret squad, made up of the ZRP, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and other security agents raided the homestead on Thursday afternoon during an operation code-named Sukani Emanzini (Get out of the Limpopo River). Source: The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Police and Zimra officials remove cigarettes from an illegal “warehouse” in Tshapfuche, Beitbridge

Zimbabwean Customs and Police have smashed a cigarette smuggling syndicate and recovered a bootleg of export quality cigarettes worth almost US$500 000 in Tshapfuche. The 1 081 boxes of assorted local cigarettes brands were kept at Edzisani Muleya’s homestead. Police said the house had become an illegal transit warehouse.

Muleya disappeared and police have since launched a manhunt. The Ferret squad, made up of the ZRP, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and other security agents raided the homestead on Thursday afternoon during an operation code-named Sukani Emanzini (Get out of the Limpopo River). Two men and a woman were arrested after police found them taking a nap on top of the cigarette boxes. The suspects kept their “merchandise” in five rooms. By end of day on Thursday, armed police had cordoned off the homestead. Several homesteads in the area were deserted when police arrived.

Police believe the homestead was a transit point for criminals who would then smuggle the cigarettes into South Africa through the Limpopo River. They said South Africa is a choice destination for regional cigarette smugglers who repackage them for export to Asia and other European markets. Another 107 boxes of Newbury cigarettes were recovered in Lutumba on the same day. Police intercepted a suspect attempting move the contraband to “safety”.

Police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo yesterday said the raids were made after a tip-off. He said they recovered 311 boxes of Remmington Gold, 442 Cevils, 221 Dullas and 107 Newbury cigarettes. “We received a tip-off to the effect that Edzisani Muleya’s homestead in Tshapfuche area had been turned into an illegal warehouse for cigarettes”.

“We then raided the area on Thursday afternoon, where we found two men who had been hired as security guards sleeping on top of the boxes.” Chief Supt Chinhengo said police recovered documents with the movement, list of suppliers and other people who are part of the syndicate. He said investigations were under way. Last week, a 43-year-old Malawian trucker was fined US$1 000 for attempting to smuggle 262 boxes of export quality cigarettes worth US$35 000 through Beitbridge Border Post. Source: The Herald (Zimbabwe)