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By Chulumanco Mahamba

Digital Night Supervisor

PICS: Border police detain 42 illegal immigrants and seize illicit cigarettes

Border police arrested 42 illegal immigrants and seized illicit cigarettes worth thousands of rands in separate operations.

The South African Police Service (Saps) border police detained 42 illegal immigrants and confiscated thousands of rands worth of illicit cigarettes on Sunday.

The border police team at the Beitbridge port of entry outside Musina in Vhembe, Limpopo, apprehended the foreign nationals within the borderline for contravention of the Immigration Act.

Limpopo Saps provincial spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, said the suspects were processed by the immigration officers from the department of home affairs for direct deportation to their countries of origin.

Picture: Saps

Homemade ladder used to cross Limpopo River

“In addition, the team had a separate incident on Sunday, 28 April 2024, when, during their operation, they confiscated a homemade wooden step ladder at Beitbridge that is believed to be used to cross the Limpopo River between Zimbabwe and South Africa,” Ledwaba said.

Also on Sunday, the team arrested nine suspects in separate locations at Mokopane in Waterberg for dealing in illicit cigarettes; thousands of rands worth of illicit cigarettes were seized.

Ledwaba added that the suspects are expected to appear before various magistrates’ courts in due course.

Picture: Saps

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Meanwhile, in Polokwane, four foreign nationals, aged between 29 and 44, were arrested for possession of presumed stolen motor vehicles and possession of fraudulent documents during the anti-smuggling operation conducted on Sunday and in the early hours of Monday.

Vehicles destined to be smuggled out of SA

Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said members of the Limpopo Saps provincial anti-smuggling task team received a tip-off regarding vehicles that were destined to be smuggled out of the country to Malawi and Zimbabwe through Beitbridge.

At around 9.30pm, the team arrested a Malawian male who was spotted driving in a grey Toyota Fortuner 2.8 along R101 to Polokwane.

Picture: Saps

“The team tried to stop the vehicle, but it sped off. They followed it at a high speed, and subsequently, the vehicle was stopped next to Polokwane Shell Ultra City in the Westenburg policing area,” Mashaba said.

The investigation revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen at Durban Central, in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.

The 44-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of a presumed stolen motor vehicle, contravention of the Immigration Act, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. The grey Toyota Fortuner 2.8 has a value of R800 000.

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Picture: Saps

Truck hijacked in Gauteng

In a separate incident, the team also received information in the early hours of Monday regarding a Mercedes-Benz truck that was hijacked on 14 April, in Nigel, Gauteng.

The truck was spotted being escorted by a VW Polo driving along the N1 North in Polokwane at around 2am.

“The operational members tried to stop a white truck with a blue tria-axle trailer, but the driver failed to stop. Instead, he had increased speed.

“They chased it, and he drove into a nearby farm, damaging the fence, and jumped out of the truck trying to evade arrest, but in the process, he got seriously injured on his left leg,” Mashaba said.

Picture: Saps

“Other members managed to stop and search the said white VW Polo with two occupants. They were found in possession of fraudulent documents from the truck.”

The three suspects, aged between 29 and 43, were arrested for possession of a presumed stolen motor vehicle and possession of fraudulent documents, and the injured driver was taken to a local hospital.