BY REX MPHISA
A ZIMBABWEAN employed as a hearse driver was on Sunday arrested at the South African side of the Beitbridge Border Post for allegedly smuggling explosives worth R700 800.
The lone man, aged 30, had somehow negotiated his contraband through the Zimbabwean side, raising security concerns, when he was arrested by alert South African Police Service (SAPS) details.
“A week after arresting two suspects at Beitbridge Border Post for the smuggling of illicit cigarettes hidden in a petrol tanker, members of the South African Police Service deployed at the same border post have apprehended a 30-year-old suspect this afternoon, for smuggling explosives into the country, using a funeral undertaker’s vehicle,” SAPS Limpopo province spokesman Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a statement.
“Members were again busy with their routine duties at the border post when a vehicle branded with the name of funeral parlour, from Johannesburg in Gauteng province, approached towing a
“The vehicle was searched together with its trailer and the police found 306 units of blasting cartridges and four rims of detonating cord estimated at R700 800. The explosives were hidden in the trailer. The lone driver was immediately arrested,” he said.
“The suspect, who is a foreign national, will appear in Musina Magistrate court soon on a charge of smuggling and possession of explosives.”
Many others Zimbabweans, including some Beitbridge residents, have in the past been arrested in the neighbouring country on similar charges that attract a 25-year-jail term in that country.
The explosives are believed to be those later used in blasting cash-in-transit vans during heists and exploding static automated teller machines, two common crimes in South Africa.