October 21, 2021

Drone surveillance helps nab smugglers

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Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

A South African registered commercial truck was this morning intercepted carrying an assortment of groceries worth thousands of dollars in import duty after having entered through Beitbridge border post and was spotted via a drone.

The truck was busted by a surveillance team working under the national security task force that is carrying out an anti-cross border crimes operation at the country’s border.

Although national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not readily available for comment, sources close to the case said the LH Logistics truck has been taken to the main border post for further management.

“We monitored the truck via a drone after noticing some unusual activities going on between the driver and some people we are yet to account for,” said a border official.

“So, we tracked it via the drone to a local truck stop, where our teams requested to see the import documents from the driver, who responded that the truck was empty.

A physical check then was conducted leading to the discovery of an assortment of goods in the two trailers. The vehicle has been escorted to the border for a physical examination and valuation of the smuggled goods”.

The official said so far the driver was still under interrogation and that more people linked to the case were likely to be arrested soon.

So far, a total of 55 000 people have been arrested for border-related crimes along the border, between January and September since Zimbabwe beefed its security with more human resources, drones, motorized, helicopter, and horseback patrols.

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