Police records have confirmed that over 50 000 people were arrested last year for smuggling.
Police in Mashonaland East have confirmed that a total of 54 048 people were arrested between the 60 km stretch of the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border. The smuggling occurred through illegal crossing points between the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border and goods worth $3 million were confiscated during the same period.
“The illegal crossing points along the Mudzi District have of late become popular with smugglers coming from Mozambique into Zimbabwe while in possession of various commodities,” police sources said. According to the ZRP, among the confiscated goods were firearms, vehicles and fuel, which the police suspect were also being by some of the smugglers to commit various crimes along the border.
Last year, the government banned the importation of basic commodities including food items, building material, furniture and toiletries. One now needs an import licence to bring these products into the country. As a result, a high number of people who rely on buying goods from neighbouring countries for resell in Zimbabwe have resorted to smuggling as they cannot afford the exorbitant fees to get an import licence.
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