News / South Africa / Crime

Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
15 Oct 2021
1:42 pm

SANDF confiscates vehicles and illegal cigarettes worth R3.8 million

Citizen Reporter

Are tobacco regulation authorities turning a blind eye?

Picture: Twitter/Sandf

Illegal cigarettes have been seized at the Beitbridge border post and were handed over to the customs officials.

Illegal cigarettes confiscated

Remington Gold cigarettes to the value of R900,000 were uncovered during a joint operation between the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and South African Revenue Service (Sars).

No arrests have been made at this time.

“[The team] confiscated illicit Remington Gold cigarettes valued at R898,338. […] The suspects ran back to Zimbabwe.

Other busts this week:

Meanwhile in Limpopo, the SANDF confiscated illegal cigarettes and vehicles worth R1,977,522.00 while conducting a search along the R572 road in Musina on Thursday:

  • R1,427,522 worth of cigarettes
  • Toyota Hilux valued at R300,000
  • Toyota Quantum worth R250,000

Colonel Choene Samuel Mabotja and Limpopo police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe commended law-enforcement officers for a job well done.

On Wednesday, members deployed in Madimbo Operational Base confiscated a Quantum valued at R150,000 which was carrying Express Royal cigarettes valued at R762,464.

And nine suspects were arrested in Kliprivier, Vereeniging, on Saturday after police seized counterfeit cigarettes worth R6.6 million.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Sello, the suspects were arrested after police were tipped off about suspicious activities happening in Kliprivier.

“Nine suspects were found offloading counterfeit cigarettes from a big truck into smaller trucks. The value of the cigarettes is estimated at a street value of approximately R6.6 million,” Sello said in a statement.

BAT doesn’t do enough

Authorities responsible for looking into the illicit cigarette trade seem to be turning a blind eye.

An investigation into one of the biggest cigarette manufacturers found that British American Tobacco had funded a network of 200 secret informants in southern Africa, including a private security company.

The security company allegedly used illegal surveillance to damage rivals. A joint investigation found evidence suggesting the tobacco giant paid a bribe to then Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.

NOW READ: Authorities don’t BAT an eye at complaints of tobacco skulduggery

Compiled by Cheryl Kahla, additional reporting by Rorisang Kgosana.