A 25-year-old Zimbabwean man has been sentenced to 3 years in prison or alternatively to pay R40 000 by a Polokwane Magistrate Court for smuggling cigarettes into South Africa.
Walter Madhongi was arrested by the neighbouring country’s specialised crime unit, the Hawks in October this year for smuggling 330 cartons of Remington Gold cigarettes worth R87 000 into the neighbouring country.
He was convicted on his own plea of guilty to charges of unlawfully dealing in cigarettes on Friday afternoon.
Hawks spokesperson for Limpopo, Captain Matimba Maluleke confirmed Madhongi’s arrest and the sentence. He said:
On October 20, the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation members received a tip-off about people who were selling illicit cigarettes at Polokwane Lodge.
The cigarettes to the value of R87 000 were seized and Madhongi was arrested.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a fine of R40 000 or alternatively three years imprisonment.
18 months of the sentence were suspended on condition he pays a defects fine of R5 000.