Suspect travelling from Gauteng to Eastern Cape caught with R12 million worth of illicit cigarettes

The illicit cigarettes found. Photo: SAPS

The illicit cigarettes found. Photo: SAPS

Published Jul 2, 2024


A foreign national is expected to appear in the Rouxville Magistrate’s Court in the Free State after he was found transporting R12 million worth of illicit cigarettes.

The provincial police spokesperson, Sergeant Mahlomola Kareli said the driver thought he could fool police officers at a roadblock when he pretended he was resting after a long drive.

“Xhariep District members held a roadblock in the Rouxville area, stopping and searching vehicles. One member received intelligence-led information about a truck that made a sudden turn and stopped near one of the petrol garages.

“The truck was tactically approached, and the driver, who explained himself as a 42-year-old male, said he was from Gauteng and on his way to the Eastern Cape for a delivery. Members continued to search the truck and under the sails, 400 boxes of illicit cigarettes worth an estimated street value of R12 million were discovered,” Kareli said.

The truck driver was immediately arrested and charged with possession of illicit cigarettes. The truck he was travelling in was also confiscated.

In a separate incident, two suspects were arrested after they were found in possession of dagga worth R1.7 million along the N1 highway on Monday, July 1.

Kareli said at about 2.45am, Bloemfontein Highway Patrol, while patrolling and conducting stop and search, spotted a white Toyota Hilux bakkie with a canopy and Gauteng registration plates headed towards Colesberg.

“They followed the vehicle and managed to safely stop it near a farm stall on the N1. Two males alighted from the bakkie to be searched and while searching and going through the vehicle, members found 12 compressed dagga packages sealed with brown sellotape, worth an estimated R1.7 million.

“The two suspects, aged 23 and 25, were arrested for dealing in dagga after the discovery. Members added another charge of driving without a driver's license, as the driver did not have a driving license with him,” Kareli said

The duo are expected to appear in the Springfontein Magistrate’s Court soon.

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