Foreign nationals nabbed with R1.5m worth of illicit cigarettes in Limpopo
Police said a truck estimated to be valued at R700 000 was also seized during the arrests.
The suspects are expected to appear before the Mogwadi Magistrate’s Court soon facing charges of Contravention of Immigration Act including dealing and possession of illicit cigarette. Picture: iStock
Police have arrested two illegal immigrants and confiscated illicit cigarettes worth R1.5 million in Limpopo.
The suspects were handcuffed during a joint operation that was executed in the Capricorn District by the members of the Limpopo Tracking Team, Capricorn Flying Squad and Olivier Anti-Corruption Unit on Tuesday, 5 September.
Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the Crime Intelligence provided information about a truck that was escorted by heavily armed suspects.
“The suspects were driving two bakkies that were heading towards the Polokwane direction. The convoy was spotted driving along the R521 Dendron public road and the two bakkies immediately drove into different directions upon seeing the police to evade an arrest.
“The Hino truck with two occupants was stopped and searched. Subsequently, police discovered that the truck was loaded with 273 master boxes of illicit Remington Gold cigarettes with a street value of R1.5 million,” said Ledwaba.
He added that the duo were arrested. The truck, estimated to be worth R700 000, was also seized.
“Preliminary investigations indicated that the suspects aged 31 and 42 are believed to be Lesotho and Zimbabwean nationals and were in the country illegally during the commission of the crime.
“The commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe applauded the team for their vigilance, which led to the arrest of the suspects,” Ledwaba said.
Police investigations are continuing.
In May, one foreign national was arrested and another escaped 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
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.