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Bulawayo men arrested for firearms smuggling

By Thupeyo Muleya

Police in Beitbridge have arrested two Bulawayo men for allegedly smuggling into the country seven signal pistols, over 1800 units of Broncleer through an illegal crossing point along the Limpopo river. The duo reportedly entered the country through an illegal crossing point at the spillway at around 4AM on Sunday.

The place is located some 500 metres east of the Alfred Beit Bridge early on Sunday morning. They were also carrying empty cartridges for the pistols, mbanje (dagga) and an assortment of groceries. The suspects, Bekezela Tshongwe (34) and Hloniphani Masuku (36) of Old Magwegwe and Cowdray Park all in Bulawayo.

National Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said further investigations were underway. He said Masuku and Tshongwe had been charged for contravening sections of the Medicine and Allied Substances, Customs and Excise and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Acts respectively.

“The suspects were spotted by our police details on patrol as they left an illegal crossing point at the Spillway. They were then trailed to Total Service station where they were then arrested,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

“Masuku and Tshongwe were then taken to the main police station in Beitbridge where a search was conducted on them and the vehicle. It was discovered that they were in possession of 50×36 boxes of Broncleer Cough Syrup, a paper bag of dagga, four Booster Batteries, seven signal pistols, 50×2 boxes of 9mm Pak Steel Blank Cartridges and 10×2 boxes of Pepper Cartridges and other various groceries”.

He said the firearms had been taken for ballistics. The other recovered goods, he added, were taken to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA).

Ass Comm Nyathi said the 50×36 boxes of Broncleer cough syrup and a paper bag of dagga were being held as exhibits. He said the value of the smuggled goods and weight of the dagga was yet to be ascertained.

“We will not take lightly to smuggling which besides affecting revenue collection is also fueling criminal activities along the borders and countrywide. Let me warn the smugglers that their days are numbered,” he said. The Chronicle.

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