Three separate busts by soldiers on South Africa’s northern border saw cigarettes valued at over R800 000 confiscated.
Soldiers from 8 SA Infantry Battalion in Upington, Northern Cape, are currently deployed on South Africa’s borders with Botswana and Zimbabwe. In addition to the 225 km of border with Zimbabwe, the soldiers also patrol the Botswana border at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers where the three countries meet.
Joint Tactical Headquarters Limpopo under the leadership of Brigadier General Thituwi Mulaudzi is reported by the SA National Defence Force as successfully stopping millions of illegal cigarettes reaching non-law abiding sales outlets in particularly Gauteng.
In the first bust on 6 July a suspicious light truck was stopped and searched with 32 master boxes, four cartons and five packets of Remington cigarettes found.
On the same day soldiers manning a roadblock with police stopped a minibus taxi, reportedly en route for Gauteng. Remington Gold and Blue branded cigarettes worth over R89 000 were found in master boxes, cartons and loose packets.
Going back five days, soldiers and police stopped a bakery truck on the N1. In addition to a legitimate load of bread the truck was also carrying 24 Remington master boxes and nine cartons of Madison branded cigarettes.
All told, the cigarettes confiscated and vehicles impounded are valued at over R1.4 million.