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Zimbabwean woman fined R20 000 in SA over illicit cigarettes

by Staff reporter
08 Feb 2022 at 18:07hrs | Views
A South African Magistrate's court has fined a 34-year-old Zimbabwean woman R20 000 or  12 months in prison after she was found guilty for possessing illicit cigarettes in the neighbouring country.

Tatenda Mashaire appeared before a Musina Magistrate's Court today.

According to media reports, South Africa's Limpopo spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Matimba Maluleke said Mashaire was arrested last month after a tip-off about illicit cigarettes that were kept at a house at Malale Village in the Tshamutumbu policing area.

"On January 21 a sting operation by members of the Hawks' serious commercial crime investigation in collaboration with crime intelligence and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was conducted resulting in the arrest of the accused and seizure of boxes containing Remington Gold cigarettes worth R43 684.

"Mashaire, who is a Zimbabwean national, appeared in the Musina Magistrate's Court and entered into a plea agreement with the State," said Cpt Maluleke.

She was sentenced to R40 000 fine or 24 months' imprisonment, of which half is suspended for a period of five years on condition that she is not convicted of a similar offence during the period of suspension.

Last year, two members of the SANDF were arrested for allegedly transporting illicit cigarettes across the border using an SANDF vehicle.

At the time, police spokesperson in Limpopo, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said the two soldiers were arrested along with a 30-year-old undocumented foreign national.

Brig Mojapelo said police at Beitbridge received information about an army vehicle loaded with illicit cigarettes which were to be delivered to an unidentified buyer around Musina.

"They then reacted by staging a stop-and-search operation next to the Baobab Truck Park along the N1 road north of Musina.

The army vehicle fitting the description approached and the members pulled it over," Brig Mojapelo said.

The soldiers and a civilian wearing an army jacket alighted from the vehicle, which was then searched and 12 boxes of illicit cigarettes were found.

Source - The Herald