Partnership policing leads to apprehension of alleged illicit cigarettes smugglers

POLOKWANE: The vibrant partnership between the police and the rural safety structures under Saamboubrug policing area led to the apprehension of two suspects and confiscation of illicit cigarettes on Tuesday, 18 January 2022 at about 05:00.

The police received a tip-off from local farmers in the area, about two NP300 Nissan bakkies that were travelling from Musina using the Alldays road, transporting illicit cigarettes and heading towards Saamboubrug policing area.

A snap operation was conducted by the local police, assisted by the farmers at Maasstroom crossroad with the intention of stopping and searching the vehicles. Upon arrival at the crossroad, police attempted to stop the two vehicles but they did not comply and they sped off at high speed using the road that leads to Tolwe policing area.

A high speed chase ensued with the assistance from the farmers and Tolwe police and they managed to stop one vehicle that was fully loaded with illicit cigarettes and one male suspect was immediately arrested on the spot.

The other driver abandoned his vehicle that was also loaded with illicit cigarettes and fled into the nearby bushes on foot in an attempt to evade arrest. He was later found hiding in the bushes and he was arrested.

The illicit cigarettes, with the estimated value of R667 326,00 were found loaded in the two motor vehicles and were confiscated.

The suspects aged 35 and 41 are expected to appear before Senwabarwana Magistrates' court soon for possession and smuggling of illicit cigarettes.

The Provincial Commissioner of Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe commends the collaboration between the police, rural safety structures as well as the YCOP for stopping the smugglers in their tracks.

Police investigations into the origin of these illicit cigarettes and their destination are continuing.

Source: South African Police Service

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