At least 38 people have been arrested in Beitbridge in separate incidents on allegations of crossing into South Africa illegally before attempting to smuggle various goods worth over R156 000 into the country.
Of the 38, nine were found with the smuggled goods, while the other 29 were arrested for crossing into the country from the neighbouring country illegally.
Those found with the smuggled goods were fined and also made to pay duty amounting to $176 688, while the border jumpers were charged under the Immigration Act.
Another truck driver was also arrested after being found in possession of household goods worth R35 000 in his vehicle which he had attempted to smuggle into the country.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and said police would continue carrying out patrols along the border to curb smuggling and border jumping activities.
"In Beitbridge, nine people were arrested for smuggling goods worth ZAR156 100 for which they have paid duty amounting to $177 688," he said.
"In similar incidents on November 24, 2020, 29 people were also arrested while illegally crossing into Zimbabwe from South Africa.
"They were charged under the Immigration Act for exit by evasion. On November 25, 2020 a truck loaded with household goods worth ZAR35 000 was intercepted by police and the accused person paid duty amounting to $61 389,51."
Police have declared war against anyone found on the wrong side of the law and urged people to use designated entry points when leaving or coming back into the country.
Thirteen people were recently arrested along the Limpopo River on allegations of smuggling 125 litres of fuel from South Africa.
The suspects were arrested by police on patrol and were charged of violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
They were charged for violating Covid-19 lockdown regulations whilst the owner of the fuel was additionally charged for importing hazardous substances without a licence.
Smuggling activities have been on the increase in Beitbridge and other border towns, especially during this lockdown period, as some are bringing foodstuffs, while others are returning, but do not want to undergo quarantining.
The South African Police Services (SAPS) recently arrested a Zimbabwean man at Beitbridge Border Post on allegations of attempting to smuggle explosives in a hearse.
The suspect was towing a trailer branded with the name of a funeral undertaker in Gauteng, when he was caught at Beitbridge.
SAPS searched both the vehicle and the trailer and found 306 blasting cartridges, as well as four detonating cords with a value of R700 800.
In other ongoing countrywide operations, 991 people were arrested for contravening the Forest Act, while 1 983 others were arrested for operating beerhalls in violation of Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Last Monday, police in Mphoengs arrested three men for illegally cultivating dagga. At least 109 plants were uprooted and taken as exhibits.