Zimbabwe: 1 300 Arrested in 24 Hours...As Security Forces Reinforce Lockdown Regulations

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The number of people arrested for flouting lockdown regulations countrywide since March 31 has risen to 52 041, with a modest spike of 1 312 arrests on Tuesday when enforcement was tightened.

Security forces were more active from Tuesday to combat growing laxity.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the latest arrests.

The police are making special efforts to track down those who have escaped from quarantine centres and those who have entered the country illegally.

The number of returnees who escaped from quarantine was 158, with 26 subsequently found and arrested and 97 border jumpers arrested.

"One returnee escaped from Esikhoveni quarantine centre in Esigodini and the total number of escapees from various quarantine centres in provinces across the country is now 158," said Asst Comm Nyathi.

"Escapees who have been arrested are now 26 following the arrest of a 40-year-old woman who absconded from Vuti Quarantine Centre in Mashonaland West. Since May 16, police have arrested 97 border jumpers and smugglers.

"We continue to urge the public to be health and security conscious and assist the police and other security services in the maintenance of law and order."

Meanwhile, police on Tuesday arrested an illegal foreign currency dealer, Evance Chinyanga (40) in Harare and recovered $10 000 in brand new $10 and $5 bond notes.

"Police officers on patrol in plain clothes approached the accused person who was holding a bunch of new $10 notes and shouting openly, while soliciting for customers," said Asst Comm Nyathi.

"During the arrest, the accused person tried to mobilise his colleagues to attack the police officers. They only dispersed after one of the police officers drew a pistol. The accused was searched and found in possession of $10 000 cash in $10 and $5 notes. He refused to reveal the source of the cash."

Asst Comm Nyathi warned the public against attacking police officers during the execution of their duties.

Police would continue arresting illegal foreign currency dealers who were also disregarding lockdown measures.

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