A man’s alleged plan to smuggle illicit cigarettes by stowing his stash in a car he was towing went up in smoke when the cops got a whiff of what was going on.
According to KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, Mandeni police officers were conducting operations on the N2 freeway near the Mandeni toll plaza, 22km northeast of Stanger, on Tuesday.
“During the course of their operations, they spotted a tow truck towing a Mercedes-Benz Vito. They immediately pulled over the tow truck and conducted a search on both vehicles. Police recovered seven boxes containing 140 cartons of counterfeit cigarettes in the Mercedes-Benz Vito that was being towed,” Naicker said.
The police arrested the 45-year-old tow truck driver and charged him for being in possession of counterfeit goods.
Tawanda Mukondiwa appeared in the Mandeni Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The police said investigations revealed that there was nothing wrong with the vehicle that they towed and that it was only used to smuggle the counterfeit goods into the country.
KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula praised Mandeni police for the breakthrough.
Meanwhile, the two suspects were arrested on Monday attempting to smuggle more than R6-million worth of illicit cigarettes at Beitbridge Border Post in Limpopo.
The suspects, Johannes Chinyai, 36, and Sivelukuthula Ndlovu, 44, appeared in Musina Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday and were remanded in custody until 28 July 2020 for further police investigations.