ZIMBABWE and South Africa last week launched a multi-disciplinary joint crime-busting operation targeting cross-border criminals.
BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
The operation, code-named Cross-border Operation Basadi (basadi means women), is part of a larger frame called Field 11 Uya Pamwe launched last year to increase security co-operation between the two countries.
The operation involves over 200 female security officers from the South African Police Services, South African Defence Forces (SANDF), national and municipal traffic teams, Customs and Excise, Immigration Department, Prisons and Correctional Services and the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
Limpopo provincial police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, in a statement, said recent patrols in Musina, Beitbridge and other border areas had yielded positive results with a number of arrests made.
“We accounted for 18 undocumented immigrants, five people were arrested for illegal trade of liquor, three people were arrested for violation of customs regulation, some 43 people were arrested for violation of the Road Traffic Act, two suspects were arrested for selling illegal goods, a motor vehicle used for illicit business was impounded in the operation, which saw 847 people and 331 motor vehicles searched,” he said.
The operation started with a joint parade at the Musina SANDF Base, followed by roadblocks, impromptu stop and search operations, foot and vehicle patrols, visiting of businesses to deal with any illegal trades and fake goods, apprehension undocumented travellers and hunting down of people on wanted lists of the two countries.
“The areas covered included the Baobab tollgate, the Beitbridge port of entry, Musina weigh bridge, Musina central business district and the Zimbabwean areas adjacent to the Beitbridge border line,” Ngoepe said.
“The operations painted all these areas blue throughout the day,” Ngoepe said in reference to their similar blue uniforms.
Police also confiscated large quantities of smuggled Bron Cleer cough mixture and illegal skin bleaching creams.
Ngoepe said suspects arrested in the operation were expected to appear at their nearest magistrates courts in both countries.