As many as 100 stolen vehicles a month are being
smuggled over the border to Mozambique, the SA National Defence Force
said on Thursday.
Criminal syndicates were using the mountainous terrain of the Mozambican border to hide their activities before the vehicles were driven to the nearby N4, giving them a clear path to Maputo, said Colonel Patrick Ncba Bobelo.
"More than 100 vehicles a month: Land Cruisers, 4x4s, Mercedes-Benz, even small cars," he told Parliament's defence committee, which is inspecting conditions on South Africa's borders.
The syndicates drove the vehicles to the border where South African villagers sheltered them, hid the vehicles and provided information on local law enforcement before each crossing was attempted.
Holes cut into fence
Along South Africa's border with Zimbabwe, the syndicates cut holes in the border fence then repaired them to conceal their activities. It was difficult for casual observers to see the repaired holes.
Villagers were paid R1 000 to R2 000 for their assistance said Bobelo.
Where several hundred metres of the fence were missing, it was because locals had stolen the wire, presumable to re-sell it elsewhere.
Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and the defence committee were assessing conditions on the border before the SANDF takes over border monitoring from the police.
Sisulu said in a statement that the SANDFs redeployment would be a challenge.
"This is a major programme, the infrastructure is not the best it can be, the fence is not in a good state, we have an over 2 000m long, land border we have to look after and that requires both financial, technology and human resources," she said.
|Crime Category:||Stolen - Car|
|Suburb:||All over SA|
|Crime Date/Time:||29 Apr 2010, 00:04 AM|
|Reported By:||Report A Crime|
|Reported Date:||29 Apr 2010, 17:04 PM|