Durban – Six suspects who were found off-loading R12 million worth of illicit cigarettes from LP gas tankers, made their first appearance in court on Monday.
Police said the suspects, who are foreign nationals, were arrested in Marble Hall on Friday night.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the six suspects were found loading illicit cigarettes from a gas tanker into the two cargo trucks at Toitskraal outside Marble Hall.
“According to the information, the suspects parked the tanker and two cargo trucks at one of the farms in Toitskraal.
“The police responded swiftly and managed to apprehend the suspects. It is further alleged that the gas tanker was from Musina and was being escorted by a white Toyota Auris while the two cargo trucks were reportedly from Gauteng.”
Ledwaba said the cigarettes and the vehicles were confiscated by police.
The suspects face charges of charges of possession of suspected stolen goods and smuggling of illicit cigarettes.
They were remanded in custody and expected to apply for bail on February 6.
The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe has commended police for intercepting this huge consignment and arresting the suspects. She also thanked community members for providing valuable information.
In September, a truck driver was arrested at the Skilpadshek Border Post between South Africa and Botswana after he was caught with an estimated R1.5m worth of illegal cigarettes.