Police in Mpumalanga, South Africa have arrested a 37-year-old Zimbabwean truck driver for allegedly smuggling from Mozambique a consignment of counterfeit tekkies worth R3, 8 million.
The man whose identity is yet to be revealed was busted at the neighbouring country’s border with Mozambique (Lebombo) on Thursday last week.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the man was allegedly found in possession of illicit tekkies packed in bales.
“Reports indicate that members of the SAPS from Lebombo Border were on duty on the said day when they noticed a suspicious truck driven by a certain man,” said Brig Mohlala.
“The truck was travelling from Mozambique into the country and the members then conducted a search leading to the discovery of various brands of sneakers starched inside.
“The man, who is Zimbabwean, was then arrested and charged for possession of counterfeit goods”.
He said the suspect is expected to initially appear at the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court today.
The senior police officer said the truck, which is valued at R3, 5 million had been confiscated along with the counterfeit sneakers.
The incident comes a few days when a 31-year-old Zimbabwean truck driver, Tonderai Moshayi, was arrested for attempting to run over a traffic police officer at the same border post.
His fellow countrymen, Patrick Ncube (31), was also arrested after he attempted to bribe a senior traffic police officer with R4 000 in the Komatipoort area to secure Moshayi’s release.
The matter is now under investigation by South Africa’s organised crime unit, the Hawks.
Hawks spokesperson for Mpumalanga, Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said the duo were expected to make their formal bail application at the Komatipoort Magistrates Court soon.
“It is alleged that on 17 November 2021, Tonderai Moshayi from Zimbabwe who is a truck driver was at Lebombo Port of Entry when he bypassed other truck drivers who had queued for their turn to cross the border.
He was stopped by the traffic police for a routine inspection of the truck. When the routine check was done, it was discovered that the truck had an expired disc,” she said.
After which, Moshayi was asked about the documents of the truck, and he became violent and drove away nearly running over the traffic officer.
He was then pursued and he stopped the truck, and locked himself inside the truck, refusing to talk to the traffic police officers.
The man only gave in at the persuasion of his employer in Limpopo province.
He was arrested and charged for attempted murder and operating an un-roadworthy vehicle.
“On the following day, other Zimbabwean truck drivers contributed an amount of R4 000 and allegedly went to approach the traffic officer, who had arrested Moshayi to secure his release.
“It is further alleged that they initially promised to give R10 000. The traffic officer reported to the Hawks that he was being offered a bribe and a trap was set leading to Ncube’s arrest when he came to deliver the bribe money,” said Capt Sekgotodi.