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Louis Trichardt Farm Watch assists in arresting 11 smugglers

The intensification of intelligence driven operations to prevent the smuggling of illicit cigarettes into the country led to the arrest of eleven suspects, seizure of illicit cigarettes and five of the ten motor vehicles that were transporting them along the Piesanghoek road in the early hours of Thursday, 9 February 2023.

Members of the Limpopo Tracking Team and Capricorn Highway Patrol operationalized information received about 10 motor vehicles which were smuggling illicit cigarettes from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

The vehicles were driven in a convoy on the N1 road from Musina to Louis Trichardt direction.

The team caught up with the said vehicles along the Piesanghoek road after the convoy took a detour to avoid police detection. The suspects then sped off and a high speed chase ensued.

Five vehicles were then cornered with the help of members of the Louis Trichardt Farm Watch.

The other five managed to evade arrest.

All eleven suspects were found to be undocumented Zimbabwean nationals who attempted to resist arrest through a physical altercation with the members however they were ultimately subdued and apprehended. The five vehicles were found loaded with illicit cigarettes.

Police seized two BMWs, a Ford Territory, Nissan Pathfinder and an Audi A4. A total of 31 master boxes and 407 packs of illicit cigarettes at an estimated value of R426 640.00.

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the members for a well-coordinated operation that led to these arrests and also thanked members of the Farm Watch for assisting the Police in the fight against crime.

The suspects, aged between 24 and 43 will appear Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court on Friday, 10 February 2023, facing charges of dealing with and possession of illicit cigarettes, contravention of Immigration Act, reckless and negligent driving, driving a motor vehicle without a valid driving license (against the drivers) and resisting arrest.

The hunt for the other suspects is continuing.

Anyone with information may contact Warrant Officer Phaladi Makola on 082 749 2233 or Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

SAPS Newsroom

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