Four suspects have been arrested for allegedly smuggling illicit cigarettes worth over R1m into South Africa, police said on Tuesday.
Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the K9 unit, soldiers and custom officials arrested the suspects during an operation on the N1 between Beitbridge and Musina.
A vehicle with two occupants was stopped and when the members searched it, illicit cigarettes were found stacked in bags, Mojapelo said.
He added that the probe led the team to a nearby mall where a suspect was found loading cigarettes into a vehicle.
The suspect was arrested after attempting to evade arrest.
“More information surfaced that these cigarettes were to be transported to a certain warehouse in Musina town where more cigarettes were stored.
“The team rushed to the given address and on arrival, a vehicle already loaded with illicit cigarettes was found parked at the warehouse. The team started searching and master boxes of more illicit cigarettes were found in one of the rooms.”
Mojapelo said several other boxes of cigarettes were found in a second room.
“As the members were busy unpacking them, one suspect was found hidden between the boxes and was immediately apprehended.”
Police recovered three vehicles and 4,040 cartons of illicit cigarettes with an estimated value of over R1m.
The four suspects, aged between 32 and 34 are expected to appear in the Musina magistrate’s court soon.
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