Freeman Razemba Crime Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police together with the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) and the Eastern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EARPCO) is conducting a joint operation targeting stolen vehicles and drug trafficking across the country. The operation is also targeting human trafficking and illicit firearms, among other crimes. National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the operation involved 26 countries.
“ZRP is conducting the SARPCCO/EARPCO simultaneous operation code named “USALAMA 1V”. This is an operation involving 26 countries in the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) and the Eastern African Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (EARPCO) targeting theft of motor vehicles, drug trafficking, trafficking in human being, people smuggling, illicit firearms among other crimes,” he said. Chief Supt Nyathi urged members of the public, transporters, travellers and business entities to cooperate with police officers for the smooth flow of the operation. This is not the first time that the ZRP and international police organisations have conducted joint operations in the country.
In 2015, a joint operation involving police officers from Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa and Tanzania led to the recovery of over 424 257 illegal tablets countrywide. The operation code-named, “Giaboia 11” led to the recovery of 2 399 tubes of various lotions, 2 000 tubes of various creams, 307 bottles of Histalix cough syrup, 11 000 bottles of BronCleer, six pharmaceutical soaps and 300 000 Pacific cigarettes.
The operation, which was carried out in Harare, Bulawayo, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland South, resulted in the arrest of 395 suspects, including a bogus doctor who was operating a clinic in Karoi and dispensing unregistered drugs that were recovered. A total of 37 pharmacies were inspected, resulting in two unlicensed ones being closed. The operation focused mainly on pharmaceutical crimes which involved the manufacture, trade and distribution of fake, stolen or illicit products.