National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi revealed on Wednesday to the Manica Post that the seemingly free-for-all situation that was happening along the porous borderline was due to corrupt law enforcement agents who were working in cahoots with smuggling syndicates.
“The evidence is there on the ground that we have finally won the war against smugglers who had created a free-for-all situation along the border. This is so because we have taken a multi-stakeholder approach which involves all arms of law enforcement in dealing with smugglers. The ongoing operation will continue indefinitely until order reigns.
“Corruption among some of our officers manning the borderline was negatively affecting our operations to restore order. At least five police officers have been arrested on allegations of working with syndicates to smuggle contraband into the country and a lot more are still under investigations.
He also said smugglers were carrying on with their illegal enterprise because there were some law enforcement agents who were looking the other way after receiving bribes.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said the recent successes in combating smuggling are largely due to the priceless support the police is receiving from members of the public who are supplying tip-offs regarding the movement of the smugglers.
He said these smugglers are cunning and dynamic, they change their operations and routes daily in order to evade arrests, but members of the public have been supplying useful information resulting in numerous arrests.
“A litany of strategies has been put in place so that we deal with smuggling once-and-for-all. I cannot tell you everything because that will jeopardise our operations, but what I can assure you is that there will be no peace for would-be smugglers.
On the other hand, the media played a big part in exposing this rot and bringing everything to the attention of the authorities.