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Zimbabweans in court over R5m cigarettes smuggling scam

by Staff reporter
02 Mar 2024 at 07:50hrs | Views
TWO Zimbabweans have been remanded in custody after they appeared in a South African court on a charge of smuggling cigarettes worth R5 million.

 The two identified as Charles Kanhema, 27, and Leo Tafireyi ,37, were arrested near Lephalale, Limpopo Province, on February 25 in a joint security operation led by the South African Police Service (SAPS).

In a statement on Wednesday, SAPS Limpopo spokesman Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said Kanhema and Tafireyi appeared at the Phalala Magistrate's Court in Witpoort outside Lephalale.

 "Two Zimbabwean national male suspects Charles Kahneman,27, and Leo Tafireyi ,37, have been remanded in custody following their appearance in Phalala Magistrate's Court in Witpoort outside Lephalale on Tuesday 27 February 2024, where they faced charges related to possession of illicit cigarettes worth millions of rands. Their case was postponed to 08 March 2024 for profiling and further investigation," said Ledwaba.

 "The arrests were effected in the early hours of Sunday, 25 February2024 during a well-coordinated operation conducted by SAPS members derived from various units assisted by private security companies and CPF members, who acted on actionable intelligence regarding two vehicles transporting illicit cigarettes en route to Lephalale," he said.

The vehicles were intercepted between Marken and Baltimore and police discovered full loads of Zimbabwean- made cigarettes with an estimated street value of R5 million, resulting in the arrest of both drivers.

"Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant -General Thembi Hadebe applauded this team  for the excellent work. She indicated that investigations are ongoing to unravel the extent of the network and to identify additional individuals involved in these illegal operations," said Ledwaba.

Source - newsday