PRETORIA – The South African Police Service in Limpopo, has arrested a 52-year-old truck driver who had apparently crossed the Beitbridge border post into South Africa with a truckload of more than 3 000 boxes of Remington Gold (RG) illicit cigarettes estimated at R30m.
“The fight against the illegal trading and smuggling of illicit cigarettes across the province continues to be intensified following the arrest of a 52-year-old foreign national on the outskirts of Polokwane after he was allegedly found transporting illicit cigarettes on Tuesday, October 26 at about 6pm,” said Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
He said the police received information about the truck, “transporting a huge consignment of illicit cigarettes which has allegedly crossed through Beitbridge border post” and heading towards Polokwane.
“A snap operation composed of the Limpopo provincial tracking team and crime intelligence unit was activated and the truck fitting the description given was spotted along the Dendron/Polokwane Road. It was then intercepted and pulled over at the intersection next to the traffic department,” Mojapelo said.
“The truck was escorted to the nearby Polokwane International Airport where it was searched. It was found fully loaded with more than 3 000 boxes of Remington Gold (RG) illicit cigarettes with the estimated street value of R30 million.”
The driver was immediately arrested for smuggling and possession of illicit cigarettes. He is expected to appear in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court soon.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended officers for immediately acting on the information which led to the arrest of the truck driver and the confiscation of the illicit cigarettes.