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Six officers arrested on suspicion of cigarette smuggling to appear in Limpopo court – SABC News


Six police officers arrested on suspicion of corruption at the South African-Zimbabwe border post in Musina, Limpopo, are expected to make their first appearance in a local magistrate’s court on Monday morning.

The deputy provincial police commissioner in charge of crime in Limpopo, Samuel Manala, says the arrests are related to the smuggling of banned cigarettes into the country.

Manala says police officers based at the Tsamutumbu Police Station were arrested on Friday in an intensive operation.

“Six police officers have been arrested in an intensive investigation following several complaints from the public that police officers stationed along the border are involved in various corrupt practices by aiding syndicates involved in illegal cigarette smuggling. The participants allegedly created a safer passage for smugglers to enter the country illegally.”

Earlier this year, Police Minister Bheki Chele said there needed to be better coordination and alignment between South Africa and its neighbors to combat cross-border crime.

Sandton crackdown in 2021

Last November, Gauteng police seized a consignment of banned cigarettes worth about R10 million and arrested five people in Sandton.

Police responded to a criminal intelligence tip and swooped on the suspects in Greyston Square.

Police spokesman Dimakatsa Selo said the arrests were part of their efforts to combat the illegal cigarette trade.

Sella said: “The crime information was processed by the provincially organized West Rand K9 Unit and SARS Customs. The team stopped and searched a lorry with five passengers in Greystone Square, which resulted in the discovery of a consignment of prohibited cigarettes.’

“Prohibited cigarettes, estimated to be worth approximately R10 million, were seized and the five arrested suspects are expected to appear in the Sandton Magistrates Court shortly on charges of possession of prohibited cigarettes. The police investigation is ongoing,” Sela added.

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