Truck driver nabbed in R7,3m cigarette bust


Rustenburg – A Zimbabwean truck driver was arrested for smuggling illicit cigarettes with a street value of R7,3 million,  South Africa  police said yesterday.

Police spokesman Colonel Sababta Mokgwabone said the 42-year-old man was arrested on Sunday, at the Kopfontein port of entry.

“It is alleged that the truck was crossing the border from Botswana to South Africa when the police stopped and searched it,” he said.

He said the police became suspicious and requested the driver to pull the truck onto the ramp and to unhook the trailer.

“According to the information, the police were still searching when they discovered a false compart ment beneath the trailer. The compartment was opened and 519 Chelsea master cases and 1 732 packets [20’s] of cigarettes were found inside with an estimated value of R7 ,3 million,” Mokgwabone said. “The suspect is expected to appear in Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, where he will face a charge of contravention of Section 54 (2) of Customs and Excise Act, 1964 [ ACT NO. 91 of 1964] as amended; smuggling of illicit cigarettes.” ANA