SA soldiers confiscate R1 million cigarettes from Zimbabwean smugglers

SOUTH African soldiers under the 4 Artillery Regiment which is patrolling the border with Zimbabwe have confiscated cigarettes worth more than R1 million (US$65 000).

South Africa National Defence Forces (SANDF) Captain Moses Semono is quoted by IOL News saying now that the water in the Limpopo River has subsided, “criminals had started with their illegal activities of undermining the sovereignty of South Africa”.

“SANDF soldiers confiscated R838 963 worth of illicit cigarettes at Yellow Gate on the Northern side of Musina Town,” Semono said.

He said their counterparts at Gate 7, confiscated four boats worth R10 000 and also arrested undocumented persons who were in one boat.

They were all Zimbabwean nationals, he added.

“In Pontdrift, on the Western side of Musina Town, soldiers confiscated illicit cigarettes valued at R301 299 on the R572, while they were busy with foot patrols. Except for the incident of the boats, the suspects managed to evade arrest on the other two,” Semono said.

“In total, members of 4 Artillery Regiment confiscated goods worth R 1 150 262.”

But it’s not just cigarettes that smugglers seek to take into South Africa. On Wednesday, SANDF soldiers averted a possible ATM explosion when they confiscated several explosives valued at about R38 000.

The three undocumented persons, all Zimbabwean nationals, were immediately arrested on the western side of the Beitbridge border post.

Semono said the suspects were entering South Africa illegally, carrying 65 blasting cartridges of superpower 90 emulsion explosives together with connector capped fuses, as well as reels of detonating cor​​ds.

“The bomb disposal unit from the SAPS in Musina was activated, and thereafter took over further investigations.”

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