By Thupeyo Muleya
South African border authorities have intercepted a Zimbabwean registered Toyota Quantum which was carrying a contraband of suspected drugs concealed in two gas cylinders.
The driver of the vehicle ran away following the interception on Monday afternoon.
The vehicle, which was towing a trailer, was stopped by members of that country’s organised crime unit, the Hawks.
Limpopo’s Hawks spokesperson Captain Matimba Maluleke said investigations were still in progress.
“Members of the Hawks, SARS and Saps intercepted a white Toyota Quantum which was travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa via Beitbridge Border Post,” he said.
“The vehicle was searched and the driver failed to account for four gas cylinders he was carrying in the trailer. The cylinders were taken for weighing.”
Capt Maluleke said the two cylinders, which weighed more than expected, were opened and plastic bags containing an unknown black and white substance were found.
He said the contraband had been taken to the laboratory for forensic examinations.
“The driver of the vehicle fled from the scene and no one has been arrested at the moment,” said Capt Maluleke.
“However, intensive investigations are in progress.”
A few months ago, a 26-year-old Malawian woman was arrested while smuggling three kilogrammes of cocaine worth R1,6 million through the same border post.
Martha Chakoma was arrested on the South African side on the border by a team of detectives from the Hawks and customs officers while carrying drugs mixed with rice wrapped in newspaper.
In 2015, two women were fined R40 000 and R30 000 each after they were busted in the same way while smuggling 28kg of drugs worth R8 million into the neighbouring country.
The two women, Memory Mapurisa (39), a Zimbabwean, and Vuyiswa Mabaso (23) from Lesotho were intercepted by a patrol officer while walking across the Alfred Beit Bridge into South Africa.
Mapurisa was found with 18kg of ephedrine, while Mabaso had 10kg of the same material, which is one of the main substances of heroin. The Herald