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Zim police arrest over 4,500 illegal migrants at Beitbridge

The arrests took place before and during the Christmas holidays, when there was massive congestion at the border post.

A general view of the slow-moving traffic at the Beitbridge border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe on 24 December, 2017. Picture: Facebook.com

HARARE - Police in Zimbabwe have arrested more than 4,500 people in Beitbridge for trying to cross the border illegally.

The arrests took place before and during the Christmas holidays, when there was massive congestion at the border post.

Police in Beitbridge say 4,502 people were arrested under the Immigration Act for entry or exit by evasion.

The state-run Herald says that the arrests took place between 1 December and 7 January.

Senior police officer, Francis Phiri, told the paper that the arrests are part of an operation to restore order at the border post.

Many Zimbabwean children are smuggled across the border without passports to spend school holidays with their South African-based parents.

Meanwhile, independent reports from Beitbridge say that south-bound traffic peaked on Sunday ahead of the reopening of many South African businesses today.