LATEST: Smugglers nabbed with groceries worth thousands of dollars at Beitbridge Border Post

The contraband was being transported to Bulawayo in a South African registered Toyota Hilux.

The contraband was being transported to Bulawayo in a South African registered Toyota Hilux.

Thupeyo Muleya: Beitbridge Bureau

The Ferret team intercepted three South African-registered vehicles believed to be part of a smuggling syndicate transporting prohibited goods to Bulawayo through Beitbridge Border Post early this week.Two Toyota Quantums towing trailers were intercepted on Tuesday midnight, while carrying 1 360 boxes of cooking oil, 119 boxes of wine, 11 boxes of candy sweets and 39 boxes of éclair pops chocolate.

A third car, a Toyota Hilux, which was being driven by Donovan Mpofu of Luveve in Bulawayo, was busted yesterday carrying 89 boxes of cooking oil.

The three vehicles and the goods were seized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra). The value of the goods is yet to be ascertained and three suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.

The Ferret team is made up of officials from Zimra, police, immigration and other security agencies. Matabeleland south police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele said he was yet to get details on the matter.

However, sources close to investigations said the vehicles were intercepted during routine border patrols.

“Searches were conducted leading to the discovery of an assortment of goods worth thousands of dollars in import duty,” said a border official who did not want to be named.

“The goods and the vehicles have been seized by Zimra,” he said. “Efforts are being made to send the three suspects to court,” he said.

The official said they had intensified patrols in light of an upsurge in smuggling of prohibited goods into the county through the border and other illegal crossing points along the Limpopo River.

A fortnight ago, the same team intercepted two South African trucks en-route to Harare carrying a consignment of detergents worth $30 000 in import duty.

The suspected owners of the contraband under-declared the goods and paid a paltry $2,910 for both trucks instead of $29 924,50.

The smuggling of goods through the country’s borders heightened from July last year after Government removed various commodities including food items, building materials, furniture, toiletries and cooking oil, from the open general import licence.

The goods now require a permit prior to importation and travellers are allowed to bring in limited volumes once per calendar month.

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  • tinaye

    Omalayitsha carry goods for different families sent from SA, it has always been like that and during 2008 hunger this saved a lot of lives. someone working say as a maid or farm labourer earning her salary in rands in SA can only buy a lot of goods for their loved ones in that country due to the rand value, if the person sends rands this side it wont be enough to buy a meaningful grocery for the extended family. The FERRET team should understand that since the Wenela days groceries have been always sent from that side. These teams need to understand on humanitarian grounds

  • Jindu

    This country is shit..ppl cant buy cooking oil of their choice from the supplier of their choice..Mugabe you have failed us dismally. us a favour and just die. .

    • kk

      I second that! What is there to be achieved in the few months left that one failed to do in 37years? Tateguru or spirit medium African icon, whatever the case might be, pliz just go away from our lives!

  • Lobengula

    There is no news here, it is an open secret ukuthi omalayitsha carry food stuff and other necessities into the country. Maybe one should talk about fixing the economy first in order to ensure there is no incentive of buying basic commodities in neighboring countries.
    The country is a mess and the so called police seeking bribes at every interval.

    • Mike

      Agree with Lobengula. If things would function well within Zimbabwe we wouldn’t have these issues, and resources wasted to catch these people could have been put to work else where.

  • qondani


  • bulawayo born

    Stupid country, ruled by an idiot

  • Ras Makate (Mutunhu une Mago)

    One wonders how long it will be before the much acclaimed ferrets become selectively effective and only arrest the small fry who cannot afford bigger bribe amounts, if it’s not happening already that is….. As it is right now I know of three omalaitsha who smuggle in all sorts of stuff a regular 3x per week through the Beit Bridge border post, not through the jungle but through the official border post.

  • MgamezulukaHlatshwayo

    Ake libayeke abafowethu lisjwayela kabi…i don’t the see the crime they have committed….

  • Mkhusto

    Yikho elikwaziyo kuphela ukuhlukumeza abantu. Kambe licala ukuthenga uthengise amafutha nje kuphela. Angathi abantu bathengisa amadrugs bona besiza isizwe.
    2018 is close watch out wena mugabe wakhona

  • kubuhlungulokhu

    groceries sibili to feed hungry people and you get arrested hayi kunzima sibili

  • Danny

    There’s no news here. Cooking oil costs $3.79 here in Zim and R25 for 2Litres in SA. Those are the facts on the ground.