Police shoot car’s wheels to stop smuggler

BY REX MPHISA

BEITBRIDGE police on Saturday shot at a suspected smuggler who bolted into the night, abandoning a latest model Land Rover Discovery believed to have been illegally brought into the country.

The car’s front tyres were hit, immobilising the vehicle, but the driver escaped into the dark, taking away the car keys.

He is yet to be accounted for.

Acting Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveless Mangena confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.

“We confirm such a case is being handled at Beitbridge,” Mangena said.

“We appeal to anyone who might have information leading to the arrest of the suspect to report to any nearest police station,” she said.

Mangena said police shot at the vehicle after the driver failed to heed warning shots.

NewsDay understands that police, acting on a tip-off police, intercepted the car suspected to have been smuggled through an unofficial crossing point at Dite.

Upon sight of the police, the driver of the vehicle, who was heading towards Beitbridge, drove off the highway onto a dirt road.

He was forced to abandon the car when the police hit the front tyre of the vehicle at Chicago village, some 10km north of Beitbridge.

Information from Dite says up to five high-powered vehicles of superior models were smuggled through the illegal crossing point last week alone.

Villagers from the area are reportedly acting in cahoots with border patrol police and Zimbabwe National Army soldiers deployed along the border to assist smugglers and border jumpers.

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