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Cops bust illegal cigarette and liquor traders


Continued efforts by the police to enforce regulations on the ban on the sale of tobacco products and liquor, once again paid off when seven suspects were arrested over the weekend for contravening the Disaster Management Act.
According to Provincial Police Spokesperson, Col Moatshe Ngoepe, the men are aged between 24 and 45 years and were apprehended by the Provincial Highway Patrol Task Team during a chain of operations which were conducted from Sunday until Tuesday morning.
Ngoepe indicated that in the first incident, the task team responded swiftly after they received information about a man who reported sold illegal cigarettes in the central business district.
On arrival, police found a 45-year-old man who was in possession of nine cartons of illicit cigarettes.
He was arrested on the spot for the selling of and possession of illicit cigarettes and contravention of the Disaster Management Act and will further face a charge for the contravention of the Immigration Act as he failed to produce the relevant documentation for being in the country, Ngoepe said.
In the second incident, six men aged between 24 and 45 were arrested along the N1 north where police stopped and searched a sedan.
The six occupants were arrested when police discovered a high quantity of illegal cigarettes and liquor.
According to Ngoepe, they are facing charges of possession of illicit cigarettes, contravention of the Disaster Management Act and will also face a charge for contravention of Immigration Act as they also failed to produce relevant documents for being in the country.
He remarked that 246 boxes of liquor and illicit cigarettes were confiscated.
Other activities performed by the task team included patrolling at several areas across the province such as filling stations, shopping malls, taxi ranks, city centres and major routes such as the N1, R37, R579, R71 and R81.
At the time of going to print, Ngoepe informed that two more men were arrested in Seshego on Tuesday after police pulled over a luxury sedan and searched the vehicle.
The two occupants, aged 29 and 31 were arrested after police discovered 23 boxes of illicit cigarettes containing 77 cartons with an estimated street value of over R500 000.
All suspects were expected to appear in local magistrate’s court during the week.
Provincial Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba commended the task team on a job well done.
He applauded them for their continued efforts in the fight against all categories of crimes across the province.

Story: RC Myburgh

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