Police in the Northern Cape are determined to combat the the trade in illicit cigarettes and tobacco products and this proved fruitful after it confiscated a large consignment worth over R7 million on Monday.
A multidisciplinary intelligence operation conducted by the Provincial Organised Crime Unit and Provincial Crime Intelligence in conjunction with, the Provincial Firearm, Liquor and Second Hand Goods Unit (FLASH), the Kimberley Public Order Police (POP), the Kuruman K9, Highway Patrol and Crime Prevention Units, Prieska VISPOL, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) Customs and National Rapid Response team and the Department of Home Affairs Immigration Services.
The provincial police spokesperson, Sergeant Timothy Sam said the operations were executed in Kimberley, Kuruman, and Prieska.
“The police seized various brands of illicit cigarettes and wooka tobacco valued at approximately R7.8 million and issued fines to the value of R1,500 for dealing in illicit medicine,” Sam said.
“The shop owners were served with compliance notices requesting them to provide the authorities with the required documentation permitting them to possess such consignments,” he said.
“One suspect, a 33-year-old Bangladeshi national was arrested on a previous warrant of arrest and will appear in the Kimberley Magistrate’s Court soon.”
The Northern Cape Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola applauded the collective efforts of the law enforcement agencies, citing that the current levels of illicit trade need to be addressed urgently.
Otola said police will strengthen compliance control measures in combating illicit-related crimes.