Two members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and a civilian, believed to be an illegal immigrant, were arrested by Limpopo police on Friday for allegedly transporting illicit cigarettes in a military vehicle.
On Saturday, police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said police at Beitbridge received information about an army vehicle which was loaded with illicit cigarettes, which were to be delivered to an unidentified buyer around Musina.
“Police reacted by staging a stop and search operation next to the Baobab Truck Park along the N1 highway, north of Musina. The army vehicle fitting the description given approached, and the members pulled it over.
“Two uniformed soldiers and a civilian wearing [an] army jacket disembarked from the vehicle,” Mojapelo said in a statement on Saturday.
The vehicle was then searched and 12 boxes of illicit cigarettes to the value of R160,000 were found packed in the back of the car.
Mojapelo said the civilian was immediately arrested but the armed soldiers reportedly became confrontational and refused to be arrested.
“The police then confiscated the said vehicle. The soldiers were later brought to the police station by their commander and were then detained.
“They will be charged with possession of illicit cigarettes, defeating the ends of Justice and resisting arrest. The other suspect will be charged with impersonating SANDF members and contravening the Immigration Act.”
The trio is expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate’s Court on Monday.