A Zimbabwean truck driver was arrested for smuggling 1 600 cases of illicit cigarettes worth more than one million Rand in Springs in Ekurhuleni, South Africa, on Saturday afternoon.
The arrest was confirmed by Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Thabiso Makgato who said the driver was arrested after the truck was pulled over on the N17 offramp.
The driver, who has not been named, is expected to appear in the Springs magistrate’s court soon to face charges of possession and possibly dealing of illicit cigarettes.
The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association (FITA) commended the Ekurhuleni metropolitan police department acting in conjunction with police Crime Intelligence for the bust. It said:
The cigarettes entered the country through the notoriously porous Beitbridge border post misleadingly described as cotton yarn.
This tactic seems to be gaining popularity among criminal enterprises. We have recently seen cigarettes that have been seized by law enforcement having entered the country illegally, mostly from Zimbabwe and predominantly through the Beitbridge border post and described as furniture, scrap metal and cotton yarn.