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Police smoke out robbers from hideout

Police smoke out robbers from hideout

SOUTH African police have flushed out suspected robbers from Zimbabwe, who were now living under the New Limpopo Bridge at Beitbridge.

Their hideout had been created from a section under the bridge used for inspecting the fitness of the structure that is ordinarily not used.

The gang of men, believed to be waylaying unsuspecting border jumpers and travellers used ladders they placed on the piers of the bridge to reach the underpants of the bridge to set their hideout.

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in Limpopo Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said he would revert with detail.

But a video recorded by SAPS and members of the South African National Defence Forces, who carried out the raid showed youthful men being taken out of their hideout.

"These are the maguma-guma (thieves),” one of the officers is heard during the filming of the operation.

Scores of Zimbabweans have fallen victim to the robbers who pounce on those sidestepping the official crossing point.

Armed robbers also take shelter in the sections of the border between the two countries where there is less police and army personnel visibility.

Police and army officers from Zimbabwe have been accused of being complicit to criminal activities at the banks of the Limpopo River where they allow smugglers passage for a fee.

"At the end of the old bridge on the Zimbabwean side police and army officers allow smugglers to slide down the bridge avoiding going through the official border," said a clearing agent.

"They charge R100 per individual," he said.

"Those ladders are taken across to the SA side with the assistance of our officers at the border.” 

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