Friday, July 19, 2024


Suspect to appear in court for illicit cigarettes as police notch up R20 mn in cigarette seizures

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A 55-year-old suspect is expected to appear before the Zeerust Magistrates’ Court in the North West on Monday after being nabbed for illicit cigarettes over the weekend in the latest big cigarette bust.

Police had received information from a farmer on Thursday evening about suspicious activities on his farm in Zeerust, leading to the arrest of the 55-year-old male and the recovery of illicit cigarettes worth R1.5 million.

The farmer had spotted an unknown truck parked on his farm. On arrival, the police approached the truck and found a male inside.

Upon searching the truck, illicit cigarettes were found and the man was arrested, while the truck and cigarettes were confiscated.

Investigations into the matter are underway by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, commended the farmer for his vigilance and cooperation, which led to the discovery and subsequent arrest of the suspect.

This was the second bust of illicit cigarettes within three days. In the first incident, police and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confiscated illicit cigarettes with an estimated street value of R8 million in Makgobistad last Tuesday.

The SAPS on Monday reported another huge cigarette bust, which occurred during a roadblock in the Rouxville area. One SAPS member received intelligence-led information about a truck that made a sudden turn and stopped near one of the petrol garages in the area.

“The truck was tactically approached and the driver, who explained himself as a 42-year-old male, said he was from Gauteng and on his way to the Eastern Cape for a delivery. Members continued to search the truck and under the sails, 400 boxes of illicit cigarettes worth an estimated street value of R12 million were discovered,” the SAPS stated.

The 42-year-old foreign national was arrested for possession of illicit cigarettes and the truck was also confiscated.



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