Cigarette smuggler’s hidden cache discovered in gas tanker

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has arrested a 28-year-old man, Hillary Makopa, for attempting to smuggle cigarettes to South Africa using a gas tanker truck.

The illicit operation was thwarted at Beitbridge Border Post on Saturday.

Makopa, the truck driver, was intercepted at the export point during a routine scan. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the tanker, which had been declared empty, was concealed with boxes of cigarettes.

“A thorough search revealed a substantial quantity of contraband, comprising 585 (50 x 10x 20) boxes and 256 (25 x 10x 20) of Remington Gold cigarettes. The smuggled goods were confiscated on November 19, 2023,” said National Police spokesperson Assistant Paul Nyathi in a statement.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has intensified operations targeting syndicates involved in cross-border crimes at all ports of entry and exit in the country. The Police categorically state that cigarette smuggling syndicates will be arrested without fear or favour”.

Assistant Commissioner Nyathi also warned bus operators, truck drivers, omalayitsha, clearing agents, or any other person involved in smuggling activities that they are equally liable and will be arrested.

The smuggling of Zimbabwean cigarettes into South Africa is a major problem that has been going on for many years. The illicit cigarette trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars per year.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button