South Africa’s Organised Crime Investigation unit, the Hawks have arrested two Zimbabwean women for smuggling a contraband of explosives with an estimated street value of R1, 2 million.
The suspects aged 27 and 41 whose names are yet to be released were arrested on Wednesday in Thohoyandou as they were about to board a bus to Johannesburg. Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo, Captain Matimba Maluleke said the women would soon appear in court on charges of unlawful possession of explosives and contravention of the Immigration Act.
The official said the duo was arrested following a tip-off.
“The team received a tip-off about two women from Zimbabwe who were in possession of explosives destined for Gauteng,” said Capt Maluleke. The two people matching the description of the suspects were spotted in one of the lodges in Thohoyandou and their movements were constantly monitored.
“The suspects were arrested as they were about to board a bus to Gauteng. Explosives, emulsion blasting cartridges and case fuses with
the estimated street value of over R1.2 Million were seized”.
The smuggling of explosives into South Africa through Beitbridge Has become a perennial headache for border authorities. The Herald is reliably informed that the explosives are used mainly for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) bombings and for blasting during illegal mining activities which is rampant around Gauteng and Free State provinces.
Over 50 suspects have been arrested between 2015 and 2019 while smuggling similar contraband between the two countries.