10 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Surge in Human Trafficking Cases

Beitbridge Bureau — POLICE have expressed concern over an increase in undocumented people being smuggled into South Africa through Beitbridge Border Post and undesignated entry points along the Limpopo River.

Statistics indicate a surge in cases of human smuggling.

Last year, police recorded 4 099 cases of human smuggling, a sharp increase compared to 3 466 in 2011.

The officer responsible for administration in Matabeleland South province Assistant Commissioner Canaan Mugumira said Beitbridge was inundated with border jumpers who evaded immigration authorities.

Asst Comm Mugumira said last year they recorded 85 600 cases related to the violation of the Immigration Act.

He said they had intensified patrols at the border targeting mainly guma gumas and bogus clearing agents resulting in a 15 percent decline in overall crime rate in the border town.

Asst Comm Mugumira said the smuggling of goods through Beitbridge Border Post was also on the increase with figures indicating that 315 cases were handled by police in 2012 compared to 135 cases the previous year.

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