Tobacco products worth over R1m seized near Paarl, four held in separate incidents
Cape Town – Cigarettes and tobacco products were seized and four suspects were arrested in separate incidents in Mbekweni, situated between Paarl and Wellington, during a search operation conducted by members of the Western Cape police.
During the operation, which ran from 6pm until midnight on Tuesday, the officers, attached to the provincial integrated team and in conjunction with crime intelligence, seized 2 290 packets of cigarettes and tobacco products with an estimated value of R1.1 million at an abandoned address.
The sale of tobacco products and cigarettes has been banned across South Africa as part of the country's Covid-19 lockdown regulations, which were introduced on March 27. Tobacco companies are fighting the ban in court.
A total of R82 580 in cash was also found abandoned at the address.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said those responsible for the goods were being sought and no arrests had been made.
However, earlier operations yielded success as four suspects in the area were arrested for the possession of drugs and money.
Traut said officers raided six premises and arrested the four suspects, who were found in possession of dagga, tik (methamphetamine) and mandrax tablets.
A sum of R5 244, believed to be the proceeds of crime, was also confiscated.
“The main focus of the operation was the illegal trade of illicit goods and drugs,” Traut said.
The suspects were expected to appear in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court soon on drug-related charges.
African News Agency (ANA)