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Multimillion-Rand Illicit Cigarette Haul Confiscated in Northern Cape

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Multimillion-Rand Illicit Cigarette Haul Confiscated in Northern Cape

Massive Haul of Illicit Cigarettes Seized in Northern Cape

Over R2 Million worth of illicit cigarettes have been seized by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in a major operation in the ZF Mgcawu District, Northern Cape.

In a statement released by the police, Sgt Omphile Masegela, a spokesperson for the SAPS, detailed the successful collaboration that led to the confiscation. “Members of Upington Border Police assisted by Kimberley Crime Intelligence, ZF Mgcawu Highway Patrol, Upington Public Order Policing (POP), and South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs responded to information about alleged illicit cigarettes being stored and sold at one of the wholesalers in Upington on Thursday, 29 February 2024,” Sgt Masegela explained.

The coordinated effort by various security forces resulted in a significant seizure. Sgt Masegela added, “The police conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises and illicit cigarettes to the value of R 2 602 490.00 was discovered and confiscated.”

The operation did not lead to immediate arrests, but the authorities have launched further enquiries. “An enquiry docket was opened and the cigarettes were handed over to Customs for further investigation,” Masegela stated.

South Africa continues to fight against the illicit cigarette trade, a problem that not only affects the economy but also funds organised crime. The police spokesperson assured the community that this latest bust is part of ongoing efforts to eradicate such criminal activities. Sgt Masegela stressed, “The police will continue with efforts to address the trade in illicit cigarettes and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

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