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Police Foil Crossborder Kombi Smuggling Operation, Seize Millions in Drugs Destined for Zimbabwe

In a significant operation, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) busted a South African crossborder kombi smuggling a dangerous cocktail of drugs into the country.

The kombi, which plied the Zimbabwe-South Africa route, was found to be carrying illicit substances worth millions of US dollars.

On a routine inspection at a border checkpoint, vigilant ZRP officers discovered a stash of narcotics concealed within the van. The haul included codeine (an opioid commonly used for pain relief and cough suppression), marijuana and cocaine (a powerful stimulant derived from coca leaves).

The driver of the kombi created a compartment under the trailer of the van and stuffed the drugs in there. The drugs were organised and packed under the trailer, and it was loaded with passengers’ luggage above.

Zimbabwe has increasingly become a transit point for drug trafficking, with syndicates involving both locals and foreigners operating within its borders. Despite stringent laws and policies against drug trafficking, the vice persists, and criminal networks have grown more sophisticated.

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Zimbabwe serves as an inland transit country for heroin trafficked from Tanzania and Mozambique to West and Southern African markets. The means of heroin entry vary, from returning Zimbabwean migrant workers smuggling the drug to criminal networks using cargo shipments and drug mules.

Drug syndicates also use Zimbabwe as a conduit for cocaine and cannabis destined for global markets. These substances are smuggled into the country through land borders with Mozambique and South Africa.

In recent months, several individuals have been caught attempting to smuggle drugs into or through Zimbabwe. A Nigerian national Onuoha Desmond Onyii was arrested at Victoria Falls International Airport with 2.33 kilograms of cocaine.

An Indian national Ronald Florentius was also apprehended at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport carrying 7.3 kilograms of heroin worth US$5 million destined for New Delhi.

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