Two Zimbabwean cigarette smugglers busted in South Africa

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By Staff Reporter

SOUTH AFRICAN police have arrested two Zimbabweans who were trying to smuggle cigarette into the neighbouring country.

The contraband, worth R7 million was seized from the two.

The two male suspects, aged 36 and 44, had managed to pass through the Zimbabwean side of the Beitbridge Border Post, but were not so lucky after they were intercepted by South African authorities.

The South African Police Service said in a statement Tuesday, 533 boxes valued at R6 993 579 had been recovered.

“Members were busy with their routine duties at the border post when they stopped a suspicious petrol tanker which was sealed at the top,” SAPS spokesperson for Limpopo Province, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo told the media.

“Five hundred and twenty three master boxes containing thousands of cartons of illicit cigarettes were found hidden in a specially made compartment in the tanker.”

The suspects were set to appear before a Musina magistrate’s on Wednesday.

According to the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the neighbouring country loses over US$470 million per year in unpaid taxes due to cigarette smuggling.

Zimbabwean cigarette is on demand in South Africa, moreso, now when the neighbouring country has banned the sale of the product among its measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.