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Mokopane: Illicit cigarette kingpin arrested alongside accomplice

The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit raided a warehouse last year, believed to belong to the man and his accomplice, and found illicit cigarettes to the value of over R700 000.

MOKOPANE – The Directorate for Priority Crime have arrested a 32-year-old man believed to be the kingpin in illicit cigarette trade in Mokopane.

Provincial Spokesperson, Capt Matimba Maluleke said the man was arrested over the weekend after a warrant for his arrest was recently issued.

“Over the weekend, one of his shops was searched and six boxes of illicit cigarettes, with an estimated street value of over R80 000, as well as dagga to the value of R2 000, was found and seized,” Maluleke explained.

The man’s accomplice, a 29-year-old shopkeeper, was also arrested. Maluleke said the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation Unit raided a clandestine illicit cigarette warehouse in Mokopane in August 2020.

Read more: Hawks bust illicit smokes warehouse in Mokopane

“The warehouse is believed to be owned by the suspects. During the raid last year, 42 boxes containing an assortment of illicit cigarettes to the value of over R700 000 were seized and subsequently a 27-year-old man was arrested,” he explained.

The 27-year-old man who was arrested in August 2020. Photo: Archive

The kingpin and his accomplice are expected in the Mokopane Magistrate’s Court, today, facing charges of contravention of the Customs And Excise Act 91 of 1964.

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