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SITEKI – The country’s hub, Manzini, has been mentioned among a host of African cities where international crime syndicates run their operations.

Writing in the official publication for government of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Ndabezinhle Sibiya, the spokesperson for the Premier of the province Willies Mchunu, said these syndicates run ‘lucrative criminal enterprises’ in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Sibiya’s article was published by the South African online publication ‘iol’ and other media outlets in that country. Sibiya said for many years, these syndicates have been trading in rhino horns, ivory, abalone, copper, precious wood, precious stones and metals.

“In charge of these enterprises are professional kingpins who recruit vulnerable unemployed people, especially the youth for illicit activities that generate millions of Rands for them,” reads Sibiya’s report.
He reported that some of the cities where these syndicates run their operations include; Manzini, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, KwaBulawayo, Harare, Durban, Maputo, Nampula, Beira and Luanda.
The aforementioned cities are in Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe.

“It is alleged that they have networks in organisations including Customs, Home Affairs, South African Revenue Service (SARS), Department of Licensing Offices and insurance companies,” he stated.
Sibiya said his boss, Premier Mchunu, undertook to ‘root out corruption’ involving government officials, when he delivered his State of the Province address recently.
This report by the spokesperson of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier comes about a month after this publication revealed how these syndicates carry out their operations along the corridor between the Indian Ocean – in areas near the intersection of the Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa borderlines.

In the report, this publication exposed how lacklustre security along the borders of the three countries and corrupt officials make it easy for the syndicates to operate freely.
It was also reported how dagga dealers, believed to be from Mozambique, had vandalised a house belonging to the Swaziland Government, which is situated at the intersection of the Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique borders.
The structure houses cordon guards, who are Ministry of Agriculture employees, and are responsible for keeping foreign livestock and wild animals from entering the country’s borders.

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