By Mashudu Netsianda
Three Zimbabweans were arrested by South African police following the interception of their truck carrying 10kg of heroin worth more than R2 million smuggled into the neighbouring country through Beitbridge Border Post.
The latest drug seizure once again raises questions about Zimbabwe’s border security.
South African police spokesperson for Limpopo province Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo yesterday confirmed the incident which occurred last Thursday night.
“We arrested three Zimbabwean nationals on Thursday night for possessing suspected narcotics (heroin) weighing 10,25kg and valued at R2 050 000. The suspects were arrested soon after their truck was directed to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) cargo scanners for routine check, leading to the detection of the drugs hidden under the bed compartment,” he said.
Brig Mojapelo said a field test confirmed that the drugs were heroin.
“The substance tested positive through the heroin testing device and the contraband was subsequently confiscated,” said the police spokesperson.
He said the trio, identified as Aaron Kasirori (36), Tendai Chaparadza (41) and Tafadzwa Moses Magurira (32), appeared at the Musina magistrate’s court on Friday facing charges of dealing and possession of illegal drugs. They were remanded in custody to September 1.
The three suspects were coming from Zimbabwe.
However, it could not be established where the consignment was destined.
Heroin, also known as diamorphine among other names, is an opiate most commonly used as a recreational drug for its euphoric effects.
Its addiction creates serious harm to the user’s physical, mental, emotional and social life, and may lead to death.
Cases of Zimbabweans being arrested in South Africa for smuggling drugs are on the increase.
Recently, a 27-year-old Zimbabwean woman was arrested at Cape Town International Airport after she was found in possession of illicit drugs worth more than R1,8 million stashed in her luggage.
She was arrested on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport.
Three years ago, South African police intercepted 80 kilogrammes of cocaine worth R23 million from Zimbabwe at the Beitbridge Border Post.
A haulage truck carrying the classified drug was amazingly cleared by Zimbabwean immigration and customs, but only to be intercepted on the South African side.
SARS said it was the biggest ever shipment of cocaine they had intercepted being smuggled into the neighbouring country.
Not only are drugs being smuggled across the country’s borders — with the help of corrupt officials — minerals too are being spirited away on an industrial scale, President Mugabe once said. The Chronicle