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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Foreign national nabbed for smuggling illicit cigarettes into SA

Two suspects, one of which is on the run, were arrested on the border of Groblersbrug while waiting to enter into SA from Botswana.

One foreign national has been arrested and another is on the run after trying to smuggle illicit cigarettes worth over R1,4 million from Botswana into South Africa.

The man was handcuffed at the Groblersbrug Port of entry on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the suspect was one of the two drivers of heavy-duty trucks which were found fully loaded with illicit cigarettes at the border.

Cigarette smuggling

“According to the information received, the two suspects were on the border of Groblersbrug waiting to enter into South Africa from Botswana when members on duty became suspicious and conducted a search on the two trucks. They ultimately found these cigarettes fully loaded in the trucks.

“It is not exactly clear as to where the cigarettes were headed to. One foreign national was arrested on the spot while his country man fled the scene on feet,” he said.

Ledwaba said the suspect is expected to appear in the Phalala Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing charges of smuggling of illicit cigarettes.

ALSO READ: Police seize R1,6 million of illicit cigarettes

Arrest welcomed

“The Provincial Commissioner of South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe applauded members of Groblersbrug port of entry for their alertness and commitment that led to the confiscation of two heavy duty trucks fully loaded with illicit cigarettes and the subsequent arrest of one suspect, a foreign national,” he said.

Cricketer sentenced

Meanwhile, a 37-year-old former Bizhub Highveld Lions cricket player has been sentenced to four years in jail for match fixing.

Jean Symes appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crime Court on 27 March 2023, where sentence was handed down.

Symes faced a charge of corruption in terms of the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA).


This comes after the Anti-Corruption officer at Cricket SA, received information from a whistleblower about alleged match-fixing planned for the 2015/2016 domestic Ram Slam T20 Cricket Challenge.

ALSO READ: Cricket: Former Lions cricketer sentenced for match-fixing