STATE Security agents and immigration officials sealed the Beitbridge Border Post yesterday amid speculation they were tightening the noose on suspected smugglers and touts.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
Only genuine cross-border traders, shipping agents and officials employed at the border post were allowed entry after a rigorous vetting exercise that included production of acceptable identification cards.
Police Officer Commanding Beitbridge District Chief Superintendent Francis Phiri confirmed the operation, describing it as a routine security check.
“It’s normal. We should be doing this all the time. You are aware the border post is a security area and these are just normal security measures we are taking,” he said.
As early as 7am, Phiri led a security team including immigration and customs officials to vet traders at various points of entry.
Police and immigration officials demanded passports or identity cards to show one was a genuine traveller or their work took them into the border post.
Customs officials asked for goods declarations from arriving travellers and scrutinised their documents to ascertain those deserving goods rebates.
Numerous incidents of pilferage and pickpocketing have, of late, been reported in the border post, where truck drivers complain of break-ins on their vehicles.