File picture.

North West -

A man has been arrested for possession of contraband cigarettes at the Skilpadshek border post near Botswana in the North West, police said on Wednesday.

“Skilpadshek border post police recovered 2657 packets of illicit cigarettes on Tuesday at about 10.15am,” Colonel Emelda Setlhako said in a statement.

“According to information received the police were conducting a search at the arrival searching point... when they noticed a pack of illicit cigarettes hidden underneath a carpet in the boot of a vehicle.”

Police then searched the vehicle and found packs of cigarettes under the front bumper, rear bumper, dashboard and in a false compartment in the boot.

Setlhako said the contraband cigarettes, with an estimated street value of R37 940, were to be smuggled into South Africa.

The man, a 24-year-old Zimbabwean, was expected to appear in court soon. - Sapa