Another big cigarette bust for Bambatha Rifles


South African National Defence force (SANDF) Reserve Force unit, Bambatha Rifles, is making a name for itself as a smuggler stopper on its current Operation Corona border protection tour of duty.

So far in February the part-time soldiers based on the South Africa/Zimbabwe land border confiscated illicit cigarettes valued at R2.4 million from smugglers after a brief firefight in the Boerdery area of responsibility (AoR). The soldiers’ antennae were raised by what Captain Moses Semono of Joint Operations Tactical Headquarters Limpopo called the “big luggage” carried by the smugglers while on what is termed “waylay duty”.

The exchange of gunfire did not result in injuries, with the smugglers dropping their “goods” to make good a safe escape back to Zimbabwe.

In January, soldiers from the Johannesburg headquartered unit confiscated over R5 million worth of illicit cigarettes in three separate busts to add to a December bust of R2.1 million illicit Remington cigarettes in a panel van.