Man arrested for contraband cigarettes

Picture: Tracy Lee Stark.

A man has been arrested outside Cape Town for possession of contraband cigarettes worth about R1.9 million on the street, Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said on Thursday.

“A 32-year-old male was arrested last night [Wednesday] at 8.20pm on the N7. He was coming from the North West to Cape Town,” Africa said.

The man was arrested at the Vissershok weighbridge about 20km outside Cape Town.

“The man, driving a truck, was arrested during a routine check by provincial traffic authorities,” he said.

He was expected to appear in court soon.

Last week, a man was arrested on the N7 near Klawer after being found in possession of contraband cigarettes with a street value of R1.2m.

“The [second] man will appear in court once police have finished with their investigation,” Africa said.

“What we are doing in the Western Cape is working hand-in-hand with the national tobacco companies and police.”

Traffic authorities were trained to look out for contraband cigarettes, with the country losing around R5.8 billion in taxes due to the sale of contraband cigarettes, Africa said.

“We, from the traffic side, apart from our normal duties as traffic officials, are working hand-in-hand with [the SA Police Service] to stop crime in the province.”

Over the past two years, traffic authorities had confiscated illegal substances worth R54m from vehicles, including contraband cigarettes and drugs.

The N1, N7, and N2 routes into Cape Town were most often used to transport illegal substances and contraband cigarettes.

“Our message is very clear. We will keep on doing this, and our officers are going to keep doing thorough checks, to ensure illegal substances do not enter the province,” Africa said.


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