The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is conducting a joint operation with the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) targeting top-of-the-range vehicles believed to have been stolen in neighbouring countries and smuggled into the country.
The operation is also being conducted in the region at large as police seek to stop the theft of luxurious vehicles that are often smuggled to foreign nations.
Most of the vehicles are smuggled using fake documents before their engines and chassis numbers are tampered with to obtain genuine documents.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed to The Herald that the police were participating in such an operation. He said:
We are not only targeting posh vehicles but stolen and unregistered vehicles and those that were not cleared properly. On unregistered vehicles, we are saying there is no reason whatsoever that they should be driven without number plates because the Central Vehicle Registry (CVR) informed us that they have no backlogs and that they have adequate registration number plates in stock.
Nyathi said the CVR had notified the police that once someone applied for registration number plates, they will be able to get them within 48 hours.
A team of detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad and other sections countrywide has since been deployed to conduct the blitz that is targeting the luxurious vehicles.
ZRP will soon release statistics of vehicles it has impounded so far.
In 2014, Interpol and ZRP conducted an operation code-named “Usalamu” targeting stolen Isuzu trucks and Toyota Fortuner SUVs, which were being smuggled in and out of the country.
Nearly 7.2 million cars were reported stolen in 127 countries worldwide in 2013. Most of the vehicles were lost through car-jacking while others were stolen from parking lots.