Police and their South African counterparts have launched a manhunt for criminals who recently dumped three top-of-the-range vehicles, believed to have been stolen, along Limpopo River.
It is suspected that the vehicles were stolen from South Africa but the criminals abandoned them near the border and escaped into Zimbabwe.
The vehicles are — a Toyota Hilux Legend 50 valued at R750 000, a Ford Ranger worth R770 000 and a Toyota Prado worth R359 900.
They were recovered by members of the South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) in a security operation near the border.
During the operation, the security forces have so far confiscated over R4 million worth of illicit goods, including explosives.
Police in Zimbabwe have since intensified their patrols along the country’s borders.
According to reports, at a Support Base near the Beitbridge Port of Entry, South Africa Police Services, Captain Moses Semono from Joint Tactical Headquarters Limpopo said one suspect was apprehended for carrying King Stallion Brandy valued at R21 600, as well as Super Power 90 explosives valued at R146 700.
After being arrested, the suspect pointed out that the explosives belonged to two truck drivers who were parked nearby.
The truck drivers were immediately arrested and handed over to the SA Police Service.
In another recent incident, 125 Super Power 90 industrial explosive packages worth R37 000 were recovered in a joint operation with the South African Police Service.
Two suspects dropped the explosives and fled.
Recently, SADF arrested six undocumented people and recovered a Mitsubishi bakkie valued at R65 000, and a trailer valued at R5 000 that were ferrying illicit goods worth R35 000.
Captain Semono also revealed the first confiscation came in the form of livestock from Zimbabwe, which was unusual as this is more prevalent along the South Africa/Lesotho border.
“Our soldiers were busy with a standing patrol in the area of responsibility situated in Maphungubwe Game Reserve when a boat coming from Zimbabwe through the Limpopo River into South Africa was spotted. Our soldiers confiscated the boat, whose Captain swam back to Zimbabwe. In the boat, there were nine sheep valued at R8 100 by the SA Police Service Stock Theft Unit, as well as 57 goats valued at R68 400.”
The development comes after Zimbabwe Republic Police is also conducting a joint operation with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) targeting top-of-the-range vehicles believed to have been stolen in neighbouring countries and smuggled into the country.
The operation is not only being conducted in Zimbabwe, but in the region at large as police seek to stop the theft of big and luxury vehicles.
Most of the vehicles are smuggled using fake documents before their engines and chassis numbers are tampered with to obtain genuine documents.