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Blitz focuses on top class cars | the herald

Blitz targets top-of-the-range cars

the herald

crime reporter

The Republic of Zimbabwe Police (ZRP) is conducting a joint operation with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) targeting first-class vehicles believed to have been stolen in neighboring countries and smuggled into the country.

The operation is being carried out not only in Zimbabwe, but across the region as police seek to stop the theft of luxury vehicles that are often smuggled abroad.

Most vehicles are smuggled in using fake documents before tampering with their engines and chassis numbers to obtain genuine documents.

National Police Spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that the police participated in such an operation.

“We focus not only on fancy vehicles, but also on stolen and unregistered vehicles and vehicles that have not been properly cleared. With regard to unregistered vehicles, we say that there is no reason to drive without number plates, because the Central Vehicle Registration (CVR) has informed us that they have no backlogs and that they have sufficient number plates in stock,” he said.

Asst Comm Nyathi said the CVR had notified the police that once someone applies for license plates, they can get them within 48 hours.

A team of detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad and other sections across the country has since been deployed to carry out the attack targeting the luxury vehicles.

Law enforcement officers from other countries in the region are also carrying out the operation.

ZRP will soon be releasing statistics on vehicles it has seized so far.

In 2014, Interpol and ZRP conducted an operation codenamed “Usalamu” targeting stolen vehicles.

The operation was conducted in other Interpol member states and law enforcement officers targeted Isuzu trucks and Toyota Fortuner SUVs, which were smuggled in and out of the country.

In 2013, nearly 7.2 million cars were reported stolen in 127 countries worldwide. Most vehicles were lost to carjacking, while others were stolen from parking lots.

“Interpol’s Stolen Motor Vehicles database contains more than 7.2 million records submitted by 127 member states. Use of the SMV database has increased dramatically in recent years — from three million searches in 2007 to more than 100 million searches,” Interpol said at the time.

In 2005 3 296 263 vehicles were stolen, in 2012 7 250 909, in 2011 7 097 877 and in 2010 7 156 792 reports. In 2004 it was 7 288 741.

Interpol also said: “Vehicle crime is a highly organized criminal activity that affects all regions of the world and has clear links to organized crime and terrorism.”

With 190 members, Interpol is the largest international police organization in the world. Its role is to enable police forces around the world to work together.

All member countries are connected through a secure communication system known as I-24/7.

This gives police real-time access to criminal databases with millions of records worldwide.

Interpol’s unique reporting system is used to alert member states to fugitives, dangerous criminals, missing persons and gun threats.

In 2017, a Tanzanian national was arrested at the Mount Selinda border post in Chipinge for allegedly attempting to smuggle into Mozambique a BMW X4, which he allegedly stole at gunpoint in South Africa.