By Thupeyo Muleya
South African police have arrested a 39-year-old suspect for possession of smuggled cigarettes with an estimated value of nearly R1m.
The contraband is believed to have been smuggled from Zimbabwe into the neighbouring country through an illegal crossing point.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the man whose nationality is yet to be established was arrested on Friday morning.
“The arrest comes after members of Makhado Visible Policing received a tip-off about a suspicious black Toyota Corolla, loading cigarettes at a storage facility in the Makhado CBD,” he said.
“An observation operation was immediately conducted supported by the Rural Safety Stakeholders.
“The said vehicle was traced and stopped at the next street. During a search, few boxes of illicit cigarettes were found hidden inside the boot.
“The suspect was arrested on the spot. Police investigations continued at the storage facility and about 3 712 boxes of illicit cigarettes were then discovered”.
The official said police seized the contraband valued at R935 572.48.
He said the man will soon appear in the Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s court on charges of possession of illicit cigarettes.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, yesterday commended the police officers for their relentless efforts in fighting crime in the province. The Chronicle