Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal police have seized approximately 10,000 packets of illegal cigarettes, according to Lizzy Arumugam, spokesperson for the Newcastle SAPS.
The cigarettes were discovered during a routine stop and search operation along the N11 when police pulled over a bakkie carrying a large number of cigarettes.
Upon questioning the driver and passenger, it was revealed that the cigarettes were illegal. Delving further into the matter with Newcastillian News, Warrant Officer Matthew Rose pointed out that the packaging did not meet South Africa’s legal standards, as the packets did not have the necessary approval markings or telephone numbers. Additionally, the customs excise tax had not been paid.
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The two suspects were subsequently arrested for failing to comply with the customs and excise act (Tobacco). “20 master cases with 50 cartons in each case were confiscated,” added Warrant Officer Rose.
As confirmed, the confiscated cigarettes were headed towards Newcastle. Further police investigations into the matter are ongoing.
This seizure is a reminder of the ongoing battle against the illicit trade of cigarettes and the associated loss of revenue to the government. The public is encouraged to report any suspicious activity related to the sale or transportation of illegal products.
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