Zimbabwe: Police Officer in Soup Over Smuggling

Beitbridge Bureau

A senior police officer, Inspector Elias Mawomba (47), has been arrested for conniving with one of his subordinates to divert two vehicles from offloading smuggled goods inside the Beitbridge Border Post last week.

Insp Mawomba and his subordinate Dickson Siakwimbi are deployed to Beitbridge to conduct security and anti-smuggling duties at Zimbabwe's border with South Africa under operation "No to Cross-border Crimes".

It is reported that the two men were assigned by their commanders to escort two vehicles carrying an assortment of smuggled goods.

The vehicles had been intercepted along the Limpopo River soon after smuggling the goods from South Africa.

Insp Mawomba of the ZRP Support Unit Mike Troops Buchwa has since been dragged before Beitbridge resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba charged with criminal abuse of office as a public officer.

He was remanded in custody to August 4, while Siakwimbi is yet to be arrested.

Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said on July 19 at around 11am, the national security team intercepted two vehicles that were loaded with boxes of washing powder, skin lotions and other body creams.

He said Insp Mawomba and Siakwimbi were assigned to escort the two vehicles to offload the goods at the Beitbridge Border Post for valuation and further customs management.

But the court heard that along the way, the two police officers connived with the drivers of the vehicles to offload part of the contraband in the bushy area near the Zinwa water treatment pump.

They ran out of luck when some alert citizens spotted them and informed border security officials.

A security team that reacted found them still offloading the boxes of washing powder and body lotions. The goods were then recovered and Mawomba was immediately arrested, while Siakwimbi disappeared.

The value of the goods is yet to be ascertained.

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