Suspect arrested for possession of illicit cigarettes worth R4.8 Million

News South Africa

Tebogo Msimanga |

North West Police arrested a 53-year old Petrus Toppies for possession of illicit cigarettes. On Tuesday, 08 June 2021, the police stopped a truck which was pulling a trailer .It  was entering South Africa from Zambia via Botswana. 

Captain Sam Tselanyane of North West Police said the driver who was alone in the truck, declared that he was transporting liquid molasses for cows. Tselanyane said the search revealed that the trailer’s flank compartments contained liquid molasses, while the middle one was filled with 355 Master Cases of Pacific Blue Cigarettes to the estimated value of R4 805 200.00.

He said the driver was immediately arrested and liquid molasses had to be drained out as it is not suitable for use in South Africa. The truck and cigarettes were ultimately confiscated.

 The Acting Provincial Commissioner of North West, Major General Dintletse Molefe praised the police for their vigilance. She pointed out that the illicit cigarettes trade affects the economy of the country.

The suspect appeared before the Zeerust Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 11 June 2021. He was remanded in custody until Friday, 18 June 2021, for a formal bail application.

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