THE Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) intercepted a major smuggling operation during the 2024 Easter Holiday at Beitbridge Border post, resulting in the seizure of a significant quantity of cannabis and cough syrup.

The combined efforts of the ZIMRA K9 team, officers, and law enforcement agencies successfully thwarted the illegal trade.

A staggering 113.7 kilograms of cannabis and 2 682 of 100 milliliters Benylin cough syrup liquid bottles with an estimated total value of an astonishing USD 140,520.00 was recovered.

During a routine K9 search at the Light Commercial Terminal Shed, the K-9 dogs detected suspicious cargo concealed within a South African registered Toyota Quantum.

The vehicle, which purportedly had passengers and groceries, was found to be carrying packages of cannabis and cough syrups.

ZIMRA officers promptly removed the illicit substances from the trailer compartment after the K-9 dogs alerted them. Upon noticing the dogs, the driver and crew absconded, leading to the confiscation of the vehicle and its contents.

Initially, the officers discovered approximately 29 kilograms of cannabis and 672 bottles of Benylin cough syrup.

However, the K9 staff continued their investigation, determined not to let the case go cold.

With the participation of other border stakeholders, a thorough search was conducted, during which K9 Grace, a highly trained and perceptive dog, detected further contraband beneath the trailer.

The confiscated contraband was promptly secured, and efforts to apprehend the suspects were intensified.

The police remained resolute in their commitment to bring the culprits responsible for this illegal operation to justice and prevent further smuggling activities.

Over the past few years, ZIMRA has successfully foiled numerous attempts by smugglers to traffic illicit drugs within the country, effectively disrupting their unlawful operations.

The Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Batsirayi Chadzingwa, emphasized ZIMRA's unwavering dedication to safeguarding our borders and safeguarding civil society. He stated, "Our K9 unit has undergone extensive training to detect illicit drugs, and this recent operation exemplifies our resolute commitment to combating drug trafficking and preserving the well-being of our communities."

Additionally, he underscored the significance of collaboration between ZIMRA and various law enforcement agencies as a collective endeavor to combat the illicit drug trade.