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Suspect arrested with illicit cigarettes worth more than R12 million at the Skilpadshek Border

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner North West


POTCHEFSTROOM – North West Provincial Anti-Corruption Investigating Unit (ACIU) apprehended a 44-year-old Zimbabwean National for allegedly trying to smuggle illicit cigarettes worth more than R12 million on Friday, 21 July 2023. According to information received, the suspect, who is a truck driver, was from Botswana entering South Africa at Skilpadhek Port of Entry at about 6:40 during loadshedding.

Trucks entering/leaving the country are not allowed to do so during loadshedding at Port of entries, since computers are off-line.  It is alleged that a police official, who was patrolling along the border, saw the truck leaving the border, driving towards Zeerust. Reports suggests that, the member informed his Commander and the truck was chased and stopped before it reached Zeerust. The driver was ordered to drive back to Skilpadhek port of entry. SARS and Customs members were requested to inspect the truck and boxes of Cigarettes, which the driver failed to declare at customs, were discovered inside the truck to the value of R12 868 509.00.  The driver was arrested and charged with possession of illicit cigarettes. He is expected to appear in Lehurutshe Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 24 July 2023. The police official, who allowed the truck to leave the border, is being investigated and charges of defeating the ends of justice could be added, when the investigations are concluded.

The Provincial Police Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena congratulated the North West Provincial Anti-Corruption Investigating Unit for the sterling job and for making sure that the suspect was arrested. He said corrupt police officers will not be tolerated and face the full might law. Lastly he applauded the member, who reported the incident to his commander.

The case was handed over to the North West Hawks for investigations.


Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani
082 373 9719


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