By Kudzai Chikiwa
Two Zimbabweans have been arrested in South Africa for smuggling cigarettes worth nearly R1 million and explosives valued at R75 000 through the Beitbridge Border Post.
South African Revenue Services (SARS) spokesperson Mr Sicelo Mkosi said in the first case, customs officers discovered cigarettes hidden under brooms in a South Africa-bound bus and a Zimbabwean passenger was arrested.
‘’We found 3 997 cartons of Pacific Blue cigarettes worth R966 915 hidden inside 40 bags,” said Mr Mkosi.
He said the cigarettes had been declared as brooms.
“The bags allegedly belonged to a Zimbabwean passenger. The goods were declared to customs officers as 500 brooms packed in 40 bags in the bus trailer.
Upon physical inspection, it was discovered that illicit cigarettes were concealed under the brooms,” said Mr Mkosi.
“The police were called to the scene and a criminal case was opened. The passenger was handed over to the police and the bus was released after all necessary processes were completed.”
Mr Mkosi also said a vehicle that was travelling from Zimbabwe to South Africa was intercepted by customs officers for a random search and explosives were discovered.
The driver, a Zimbabwean, was arrested in connection with the case.
“Custom officers found two bags that were left unattended in the panel van .They found 300 units of suspected cables of explosives valued at approximately R75 000 and the driver claimed he did not know who the owner was,” Mr Mkosi said.The Chronicle