Sunday, June 23, 2024

Police investigate BURS official over booze smuggling

A Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) top official is at the centre investigations following attempts to smuggle alcohol from Kasane to Gaborone. 

The said contraband is reported to have been intercepted by the police at Dibete check point.

Speaking to this publication last week, acting station commander of Dibete police station assistant superintendent Edward Williams confirmed that his station is investigating a case in which a BURS top official is suspected to be involved in an attempt to unlawfully transport alcohol from Kasane to Gaborone.

“It is true that the police are investigating a case in which a BURS official is implicated,” he said. He said they already have arrested three suspects including the BURS official, two suspects from Kasane and a middle man in Gaborone who was to receive the consignment.

He explained that although the investigations are still in its infancy, preliminary investigations have shown that the two suspects who are in Kasane allegedly loaded about three boxes of alcohol wrapped and sealed with a BURS branded official seal tape.

He said the two suspects then went to Kasane bus rank and gave the bus conductor the alleged consignment that was heading to Gaborone. He said upon reaching Dibete police check point, law enforcement searched the bus as usual and about three boxes that were wrapped and sealed with BURS tape were found.

He said the three suspects are in police custody both in Kasane and Gaborone respectively. He said most of the alcohol that is allegedly smuggled in Botswana comes from neighbouring countries mostly Zimbabwe.

“So far we have information that an unidentified person is allegedly selling alcohol in Francistown in large quantities mostly at the Francistown bus rank,” he said.

He said since the alcohol ban due to Covid-19 has resulted in alcohol smuggling cases increasing. 

“As the police we are concerned about the increasing number of alcohol smuggling,” he said. He warned the public to desist from such behaviour and law enforcement officials will continue to intercept any illegal goods that may try to pass through Dibete.  He urged the police to give them any information that may lead to the arrest of those who sell alcohol illegally.

Contacted for comment BURS spokesperson Mabel Bolele briefly indicated that her organisation is not aware of its staff member who might have been arrested by the police.   

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper