Police continue their fight against the smuggling of illegal cigarettes across the province after five suspects who were recently arrested during two separate incidents in Modimolle and Sebayeng, appeared in court facing charges of being in possession of illicit cigarettes earlier this week.
Provincial Police Communications Head, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo indicated that the arrests were made on Saturday and Sunday during separate crime prevention operations.
He remarked that police were conducting crime prevention duties when they attempted to pull over a bakkie in Modimolle. The driver failed to stop and sped off in the direction of Bela-Bela subsequently resulting in a chase in the direction of Bela-Bela, according to Mojapelo.
Police quickly informed their colleagues in Bela-Bela and the vehicle was intercepted. During the search police found 1 000 cartons of illicit cigarettes and three suspects, aged between 28 and 42, were arrested. In the second incident, collaboration between traffic officers and police attached to the Sebayeng Police Station, led to the arrest of two suspects after a prolonged chase that commenced on the N1 at Botlokwa on Sunday. The suspects who failed to stop when ordered to do so by traffic officer at Botlokwa sped off towards a gravel road that connects the N1 and the R81.
Mojapelo indicated that officers gave chase and called for backup resulting in the vehicle being intercepted at the Solomondale intersection. The vehicle was searched and illicit cigarettes and alcohol were found. Two suspects were immediately apprehended and preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were travelling from Zimbabwe to Gauteng.
Story: RC MYBURGH