Criminals build ramps to traffic stolen cars

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Criminals build ramps to traffic stolen cars

Criminal syndicates operating along the South Africa-Mozambique border have resorted to
constructing steel ramps to drive stolen vehicles over the newly-built border fence separating
the two countries. Despite efforts by authorities to fortify the border and curb cross-border
crime, these groups continue to find innovative ways to smuggle stolen goods out of South
Africa.

“Despite the construction of a solid concrete fence on the border of South Africa and
Mozambique, criminal syndicates are finding new ways of getting their stolen goods out of
South Africa,” revealed a recent presentation to Parliament’s portfolio committee on Public
Works and Infrastructure. “They have now resorted to building makeshift steel bridges that
they use to drive stolen vehicles over the fence.”

The R270.9 million Kosi Bay border project, aimed at enhancing border security in the
Umkhanyakude District Municipality of KwaZulu-Natal, is currently underway. Phases two
and three of the project are anticipated to commence on September 30, according to the
presentation.

The initiative was first proposed in 2017 after two visits to the area by former President
Jacob Zuma, following numerous concerns raised about safety along the border line.
“According to the presentation, concerns over heightened criminal activity in uMkhanyakude
in northern KZN, notably the illegal movement of people between South Africa and
Mozambique were raised, leading to the KZN government directing that a strategy be
developed to improve the integrity of the border,” the report stated.

Authorities have established a borderline management committee to address the issue,
underscoring the urgency of the situation. As construction progresses, law enforcement
agencies remain vigilant in their efforts to dismantle the criminal networks exploiting the
porous border region.