One person was shot dead, while six others were arrested after police intercepted truckloads of smuggled bales of second-hand clothes in Vumba on Saturday night.
The gang, which had a fleet of vehicles, resisted arrest and attempted to run over a police officer, prompting other alert officers to open fire.
Police intercepted a convoy comprising two (7-tonne) trucks, three kombis with bales of clothes and four small escort cars, recovering 170 bales of clothes.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has intercepted a convoy of two-seven tonne trucks, three commuter omnibuses and four small vehicles laden with bales of smuggled goods along Vumba Road after a shooting which resulted in the arrest of six suspects and the death of one of the suspects,” he said.
“A crack team of detectives picked information as the convoy approached Vumba and laid an ambush. The vehicles were signalled to stop, but the drivers ignored the police directive as the four small vehicles were being used as smugglers’ escort.”
Police fired warning shots before shooting the wheels of one of the trucks which then stopped.
“In the process, a VW Polo, registration number ADA 5492, which was part of the smugglers escort fleet made a U-turn, sped off towards a police officer who ducked and fired some shots,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“The VW Polo driver and passenger were injured in the process as they tried to flee. The passenger died on admission at Mutare Provincial Hospital, while the driver is admitted under police guard.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said police recovered 170 bales of smuggled clothes from some of the intercepted vehicles. The Herald