Zimbabwe Republic Police and their South African counterparts have increased patrols along the Beitbridge Border Post in an effort to curb rampant cross-border car theft, following a new trend of criminals using donkeys to pull stolen cars across the Limpopo River into Zimbabwe.
The two police forces have also, increased watch on poachers, who are operating
along the borders, smuggling ivory and rhino horns.
Recently, police in Limpopo thwarted an operation by criminals, who were using four donkeys to smuggle a stolen Mercedes-Benz into Zimbabwe.
No one was arrested.
Officers between the two countries have vowed to join hands to curb criminal activities. SAPS spokesperson Motlaefela Mojapelo said: “We are actually on top of the situation and we’ve increased our security along border lines, especially bordering Zimbabwe and South Africa to make sure that we stop this thing.”
In December last year, the South African po lice roped in their Zimbabwean counterparts in hunting down three suspected car jackers, who attempted to smuggle a stolen vehicle into the country using five donkeys to tow it across the Limpopo River.
Police officers in a helicopter, who were on a routine aerial border patrol, spotted the vehicle, a Toyota Hilux, which was partially submerged in water.
The car was stolen in Durban and three suspects believed to be Zimbabweans, fled to the Zimbabwean side soon after discovering that they had been spotted.
They abandoned the donkeys and the vehicle in the middle of the river.
It took the police four hours to remove the vehicle from the water.
The vehicle was reported stolen early December from Durban Central in KwaZulu Natal.
In 2012, police in Beitbridge busted a well-orchestrated car smuggling syndicate involving Malawians and recovered five top-of-the-range vehicles worth R4 million.
The cars were being smuggled from South Africa into the country through a dry riverbed on the Limpopo River.