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Illicit cigarettes seized after being smuggled from Zimbabwe to Limpopo

by Staff reporter
24 May 2024 at 08:25hrs | Views
A multidisciplinary team managed to seize illicit cigarettes believed to have been smuggled into the country in Limpopo.

The provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, said the high-density Operation Vala Umgodi took place on May 21, between Pointdrift and Musina.

The teams comprised of members from the SAPS' Border Policing Team, South African National Defence Force (SANDF), South National Park Rangers and the South African Revenue Service, and Customs.

"The multidisciplinary team recovered a cargo of illicit cigarettes worth thousands of rands. The illicit cigarettes were found loaded into a white Toyota Quantum minibus on a gravel road in the bushes near the Sangweni truck stop in Musina. The cargo is believed to have been smuggled across the Limpopo River from Zimbabwe," Ledwaba said.

He said the suspects jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot into the bushes.

"The recovered cargo contained about 66 boxes of illicit cigarettes worth R300,000," Ledwaba said.

The team also carried out various crime prevention operations such as vehicle checkpoints, foot patrol, and stop and searches.

"The two male suspects aged 35 and 42 were subsequently arrested for contravention of the Limpopo Liquor Act, dealing in liquor without a permit. The team ultimately confiscated hundreds of rands worth of alcohol from the two illegal liquor outlets. In addition, 29 foreign nationals were arrested for contravention of the Immigration Act on the N1 highway alongside the Beitbridge Port of Entry," Ledwaba said.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate's Court soon.

Source - IOL