SA national nabbed  for smuggling explosives

SA national nabbed for smuggling explosives

MASERU – A SOUTH African national was arrested in Mokhotlong last Friday after he allegedly smuggled explosives worth about M5 million into Lesotho without a permit, thepost heard this week.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed the incident.
He said the police were investigating a case in which an undocumented consignment of explosives was brought into the country.
Supt Mopeli said the suspect will likely appear in court this week.
The truck was reported to have entered the country through the Butha-Buthe border post driven by a white South African national.

Sources said the driver brought the explosives into Lesotho without an export permit and a clearance permit from the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).
The Commissioner of Mining, Tjatja Tjata, said they got a tip-off that a South African truck loaded with explosives had entered into the country on Thursday night.

He said they informed the army and police to impound the vehicle around Lets’eng. The truck was however stopped in Mapholaneng where the company keeps its construction materials.
Tjata said proper procedures were not followed in clearing the goods at the border.

Procedurally, he said the truck had to be escorted by the army or the police because the explosives are very dangerous and they could even pose a threat to the security of the country.
“We have informed the LRA about the incident and they have promised to check their cameras and see the video footage and tell us what happened,” he said.

Tjatja said it seems like the smuggling of the explosives has been going on at the border since April this year.
Tjatja said the truck was heading to Polihali where the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) is building a dam.

Polihali falls under the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Development Project implemented by the LHDA.
Tjatja said they had since informed the LHWP Chief Delegate to Lesotho about the incident.

In a statement this week, the LHDA said it was aware of the arrest of a representative of a sub-contractor working on the Phase Two diversion tunnels contract at Mapholaneng.
It said more details about what happened will be provided as they become available.
LRA Public Relations Manager, Pheello Mphana, said he was not aware of the incident when contacted for comment yesterday.

Majara Molupe


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