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ACCUSED SENTENCED FOR CONTRAVENTION OF CUSTOMS AND EXCISE ACT: KWAZULU-NATAL
2021/09/03      |  Written By:  Captain S Mhlongo   |   Province:  Kwazulu-Natal

KWAZULU-NATAL – Yesterday, 2 September 2021 Pietermaritzburg Regional Court sentenced Ismael Adam Bhiku (29) to five years imprisonment of which two years is suspended for five years.

In November 2015, the accused was involved in the illegal importing of illicit cigarettes between KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo. Port Shepstone Serious Organised Crime unit members conducted several undercover operations with an intention to gather concrete evidence. In 2016,  an operation was conducted and a search warrant executed at his warehouse in Pietermaritzburg, during the search 147 master cases of illicit cigarettes to the street value of R1 350 000.00 were seized.

Members continued with their intelligence driven operation until he was arrested in December 2017. During his arrest, 216 master cases of Illicit cigarettes to the street value of R2 032 191.00 were also seized. A panel van that was used in the commission of crime was also seized.

On 15 March 2021 Bhiku was convicted for contravention of customs and excise Act as well as contravention of the tobacco products control Act. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment of which two years is suspended for five years for each count and the sentence will run concurrently.