Friday, 17 February 2017

Botswana urged to tighten border to curb smuggling




According to Botswana media, the smuggling syndicates were using illegal entry points in Mapoka village.

A Botswana chief, Kgosi Ngocha Habangana told Mmegi newspaper that his area was experiencing alarming incidents of cross-border smuggling of petrol by both locals and illegal immigrants.

He said the criminals use illegal entry and exit points, where they destroy the border fence and smuggle the fuel to avoid paying tax at Ramokgwebana Border Post.

“Fuel, especially petrol is being smuggled illegally outside Botswana through the border fence in Mapoka. The smugglers cut the fence when committing this offence,” he was quoted as saying.

The traditional leader accused locals of conniving with the smugglers and transporting the contraband using their vehicles.


Habangana said the illicit fuel deals have also resulted in an increase in other crimes such as stock theft.

“Poor people’s livestock easily crosses over to Zimbabwe because the fence has been damaged. If the livestock is recovered from Zimbabwe, it will be killed by veterinary officers in order to control the foot and mouth disease,” he said.

Habangana said although they have filed several reports at Masunga Police Station, few arrests have been made and the criminal activities continue to rise in the area.

Masunga Police Station commander, Gaolathe Ngayaya, told Botswana media last year they raided the area and recovered 5 275 litres of petrol abandoned near the border.

Ngayaya said, in the same year, on different occasions, they arrested both locals and illegal immigrants, who were trying to smuggle petrol across the border.

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