The High Court in Limpopo on Tuesday ordered the seizure of a truck belonging to a suspected cigarette smuggler.
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The order followed an application by the Asset Forfeiture Unit in the province.
The truck belongs to Themba Kenneth Masuku, who was arrested last year October at the Giriyonde border post near Phalaborwa for possession of illicit cigarettes.
Masuku has been charged with contravening of the Customs and Excise Act and the Tobacco Products Control Act in the Phalaborwa Regional Court.
“The accused came through the border gate from Mozambique driving the Tata truck. After he had passed the customs, the SAPS [SA Police Service] stopped him and searched the Tata,” said National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokeswoman Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
Police discovered a false compartment in the truck filled with 6,945 cartons of Pacific Blue cigarettes.
The NPA said Masuku failed to declare the cigarettes and avoided to pay value-added tax and customs duties payable for the cigarettes.
“The seized cigarettes also did not comply with the Tobacco Products Control Act which prohibits importation into the country and the subsequent sales of thereof in the RSA,” said Malabi-Dzhangi
She said illicit cigarettes pose a serious health threat to unsuspecting consumers as contraband was illegally manufactured and did not meet the health specifications for cigarettes.
The matter was postponed to November 2 for criminal trial in the Phalaborwa Regional Court.
– African News Agency (ANA)