By Thupeyo Muleya
Zimbabwean and South African police have launched a joint operation code named “No to Crime” aimed at reducing crime along the border.
The police officer commanding Beitbridge District, Chief Superintendent Francis Phiri said they had arrested over 40 people around the town and the border line since the operation started last weekend.
“We are worried with the recurrence of crime in our area and hence we have joined forces with our South African counterparts. You will note that we have a problem of cross border crime as some people commit offences in either Musina or Beitbridge towns and skip the border to either country.
“The whole idea is to suffocate them and we want to warn them that their days are numbered. We have been inundated with a spate of armed robberies in Beitbridge and as the police we will not stand akimbo and give the marauding criminals a free rein”.
He said so far they have managed to arrest two wanted persons, one linked to murder and another on a domestic violence charge. Chief Supt Phiri said they had also arrested three people linked to the four armed robberies that occurred in Beitbridge a fortnight ago.
He said they were casting their net wide to other crimes including illegal vending and touting within the border post.
“Further we recovered one vehicle a Toyota Double cab, 4 000 litres of diesel and 250 tyres which had been smuggled into the country through the Limpopo River.
“We also rounded up 10 people for dealing in liquor without licences and six others for dealing in mbanje. We managed to get 16.3kgs of the illicit drugs,” he said.
Chief Supt Phiri said the border post and its environs are security zones where they will not allow criminals to roam. He also warned members of the public to desist from engaging services of conmen who in most cases end up robbing or harming them.
Chief Supt Phiri said the suspects will soon appear in court facing various criminal charges.
The operation comes a few days after a group of armed robbers descended on Beitbridge town where they were targeting taxi drivers and residents living in western suburbs.
Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said they were also having another operation “Vala Madi” (meaning close the tap/water), which has seen the recovery of 11 stolen vehicles along the border line which were being smuggled into Zimbabwe. The Chronicle