Cape Town – Police say they have dealt a major blow to the illicit trade industry that includes the confiscation of large amounts of dagga and cigarettes during cross-border roadblocks between the Eastern and Western Cape.
On Tuesday, a 33-year-old suspect was apprehended with cigarettes to the value of R122 000.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said members of the SAPS K9 Unit, crime intelligence, the Hawks and SA Revenue Services followed up on information regarding the attempted smuggling of cigarettes from Polokwane in Limpopo to the Western Cape, bound for a destination in Grassy Park.
“Once charged, the suspect is scheduled to make a court appearance in Wynberg on charges relating to the Customs Act, Tobacco Products Control Act and the Disaster Management Act,” Traut said.
A 30-year-old motorist en route from Makhanda to George was also held at the Tsitsikamma tollgate after a vehicle search by authorities yielded eight boxes of pineapples concealing 50 cartons of cigarettes to the value of R200 000.
“The suspect was processed at the Plettenberg Bay police station and issued with a summons to appear in the Plettenberg Magistrate’s Court at a later date and time.
“The illicit cigarettes were destined for distribution in George,” said police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie.
Last Friday, in Kannaland, Ladismith police confiscated 450 cigarettes to the value of R5000, Pojie added. A 35-year-old year-old was fined R2 000.
Poje said law enforcement members deployed on the R62 in the Langkloof area stopped and apprehended a motorist en route from the Eastern Cape. Officers found three bags of dagga, weighing as much as 63kg, to the value of R85 000, he added.
“Subsequent to the find, the members confiscated the dagga as well as the vehicle used to transport the consignment.
“The 26-year-old suspect was arrested on the spot and detained at the Uniondale holding cells. He is expected to make his first court appearance in the George Magistrate’s Court. He has been charged with the illegal possession of drugs,” Poje said.
“It is clear that drug dealers are still exploring alternative ways to commit their illegal activities in an attempt to evade arrest.”
By Staff Writer