BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI
A SOUTH African civil rights organisation, AfriForum has joined the fight to curb smuggling along the South Africa-Zimbabwe border in Beitbridge.
Under the initiative, two sniffer dogs were donated to AfriForum’s neighbourhood watch in Musina. AfriForum campaigns manager Jacques Broodryk said the dogs, Duke and Hailey, were trained trackers.
“Duke and Hailey will be valuable assets to strengthen the Musina neighbourhood watch’s methods to catch smugglers and seize smuggled goods. The smugglers use areas with dense bushes to cross the border and sniffer dogs will assist the neighbourhood watch to quickly get on the trail of smugglers,” Broodryk said.
“Duke will also help law enforcement during roadblocks because of his specific skills to sniff out firearms and drugs.”
Broodryk also said the focus by the Border Watch Initiative would be on strengthening and supporting AfriForum’s safety structures across South Africa. AfriForum has 155 safety structures across South Africa and more than 10 000 volunteers protecting their communities.
“Various individuals and organisations have already indicated that they would like to avail equipment for the neighbourhood and farm watches in border areas. Between June and September of last year, AfriForum’s neighbourhood watch in Musina helped to seize smuggled goods with a total value of more than R12 million,” he added.
The South African government has over the years, through assistance from the South African National Defence Forces and police force, intercepted millions worth of smuggled drugs and goods along the Beitbridge border area.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe — which loses US$1 billion annually to the vice, is also making its own effort to curb smuggling of illegal substances and goods and genetically modified organisms by using digital systems.
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