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Cigarette ‘Fraud’

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In the early hours of this morning, SAPS members at Hluhluwe were conducting a roadblock on the N2 when they attempted to stop two vehicles. When the vehicles refused to stop, police contacted their colleagues at Mtubatuba and alerted them to the suspicious vehicles. Police officers from Mtubatuba SAPS spotted the vehicles, a white Toyota Hilux and a white Toyota Etios traveling along the N2 near the Nkodibe turn-off. Both vehicles were stopped by police and a search was conducted on both motor vehicles.

Police discovered 36 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes in the Toyota Hilux. Two suspects aged 41 and 43, from the Toyota Hilux were arrested for being in possession of the counterfeit goods. Police then discovered that the Toyota Etios was an unmarked police vehicle and that the occupants were policemen who were escorting the Toyota Hilux. The two police officers aged 50 and 54, who are stationed at the Vehicle Identification Section in Isipingo, were then placed under arrest. All four suspects will appear in the Mtubatuba Magistrates Court soon for being in possession of counterfeit goods, corruption and defeating the ends of justice. The total value of the cigarettes that was seized is R180,000-00.

“These arrests are once again a clear indication that SAPS members in this province are committed to rooting out all forms of crime and corruption and should serve as a warning to others that we will leave no stone unturned and ensure that the law will take its course irrespective of who you are. Whilst the criminal investigation is underway, disciplinary steps will be instituted against the two police officers. We will not tolerate criminals within the organisation and remain committed to rooting out all criminal elements within the province,” said KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa.