Rustenburg-Two men were arrested for possession and smuggling of illicit cigarettes with an estimated street value of more than R600 000 in Limpopo.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the two were arrested on Tuesday, following a partnership between the police and the rural safety structures under Saamboubrug policing area.
“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,” he said.
He said 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.”
He said 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, but was later found hiding in the bushes and he was arrested.
“The illicit cigarettes, with the estimated value of R667 326 were found loaded in the two motor vehicles and confiscated.
“The suspects aged 35 and 41 are expected to appear before Senwabarwana Magistrates’ court soon for possession and smuggling of illicit cigarettes,” he said.
He said police investigations into the origin of these illicit cigarettes and their destination were continuing.