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By Citizen Reporter


Police seize R1,6 million of illicit cigarettes

The 44-year-old foreign national has seven days to submit the required documents to the authorities.

Police recently confiscated 130 boxes of illicit cigarettes with an estimated value of R1,6 million.

A multi-disciplinary team comprising of members from the Northern Cape Border police, Springbok Public Order Police, Springbok K9 and Springbok Highway patrol units as well as Sars customs encountered the perpetrator during a compliance inspection operation.

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According to police spokesperson, Sergeant Timothy Sam, the law enforcement agents received a tipoff about the illicit trade. They were provided with an address alerting them to where this was happening.

Sergeant Sam said that they then made their way to the premises on Friday, 10 March 2023.

“The team executed a compliance inspection operation and visited the establishment as per the information received,” he said.

Image: Supplied by Saps

Upon searching the area, the police found a consignment ordered by the foreign national that was destined from Upington to Springbok.

Sergeant Sam confirmed that the consignment contained 95 Boxes of Sahawi and 35 boxes of mixed brands of cigarettes with an estimated value of R1,6 million.

Seven days

The owner was requested to provide the authorities with the required documentation permitting him to possess such a consignment, but Sergeant Sam said that he could not provide the relevant documents at the time.

As such, the entire consignment was then confiscated.

“The 44-year-old foreign national has seven days to submit the required documents to the authorities,” Sergeant Sam concluded.

Meanwhile, just the day before, a 32-year-old was arrested for possession of illicit cigarettes in Polokwane.

According to a police report filed by  Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, members of the Limpopo Highway Patrol spotted a suspicious-looking man carrying a box and entering a store in Polokwane CBD.

Mojapelo said that the officers immediately approached the suspect and searched him, finding 30 cartoons of illegal cigarettes with an estimated value of R3000.

“The man was subsequently arrested and will appear before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court,” Mojapelo said.

The illicit trade of cigarettes is a significant problem in South Africa, with estimates suggesting that up to one-third of all cigarettes consumed in the country are smuggled or counterfeit.

This illegal trade costs the South African government billions of rand in lost tax revenue every year, and it has been linked to organised crime and other illicit activities.

The authorities have been working to crack down on the illicit trade of cigarettes, but it remains a persistent challenge.

Image: supplied by Saps.

Compiled by Devina Haripersad

NOW READ: Two foreign nationals nabbed for dealing in illegal cigarettes

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