SA lockdown: Tshwane Metro Police nab 10 for illicit cigarette sales
Pretoria – At least ten people have been arrested by the Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) on suspicion of selling and distributing cigarettes in Pretoria, flouting the lockdown regulations to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
TMPD spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said luck ran out for the cigarette dealers when officers doing lockdown patrols in Lyttelton, Centurion found a man roaming the streets and quizzed him.
“They [police officers] found one male roaming the streets who could not account for being there. He was searched and the TMPD officers found four packets of cigarettes on him. Upon further questioning, he led them to a flat where he [had] bought the cigarettes,” Mahamba said.
“Nine people were found at the premises. The place was searched and the officers discovered many boxes of cigarettes. The cigarettes found have an estimated street value of more than R1,5 million. Cash amounting to R325,000 was also seized.”
All ten people, including the person who was found with the four packets of cigarettes on the street, have been arrested for contravening the lockdown rules. Another person was also charged with bribery after offering R3,000 to the TMPD officers.
South Africa is going through a month-long national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19. The country had at least 2,415 confirmed infections.
The lockdown is accompanied by a string of regulations that limit the movement of citizens, who are expected to stay at home unless they are shopping for food, seeking medical help or supplies, banking, buying petrol, collecting social grants, or performing essential services.
African News Agency (ANA)
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