R1.3m contraband cigarettes confiscated at Farazella border
Durban - Forty-six boxes of contraband cigarettes, with an estimated value of R1.3 million, were confiscated during a patrol at the Farazella border between South Africa and Mozambique.
SANDF spokesperson, Captain Anelisiwe Tamela, said during an operation earlier this week, two vehicles were spotted where people were loading boxes of contraband along the border fence.
"When approached, the suspects fled the scene and 46 boxes of Rothmans cigarettes and an Isuzu bakkie worth R80 000 were found," Tamela said.
She said SANDF members are deployed at the border to counter illicit goods and undocumented people from entering SA.
Tamela said officers were lauded for their commitment and dedication in combating the cross-border criminal activities.
Last month, SANDF members seized a large quantity of cigarettes, drugs and a vehicle and the Tell Bridge Port of Entry between the Eastern Cape and Lesotho.
According to police, two men were arrested for illegally transporting tobacco products.
In another patrol, officers found boxes of cigarettes and crates of beer. It was suspected that the items were waiting to be collected and smuggled over the border.
The selling of tobacco and tobacco-related products remain banned, despite the country downgrade to level 3 from June 1.
On Wednesday, South Africans expected President Cyril Ramaphosa to announce a relaxation on the ban, however smokers will have to cross their fingers and put their faith in Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and the North Gauteng High Court. Last week, the court heard an application by the Fair Trade Independent Association, which took the government to court in a bid to force them to overturn the ban on cigarette sales.
Judgment was reserved on the matter.