5 million contraband cigarettes destroyed

2012-02-06 19:11
Johannesburg - More than five million contraband cigarettes were destroyed by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) in Polokwane, the tobacco industry said on Monday.

They were seized in raids on retailers, resellers and wholesalers over several months, Francois van der Merwe, chairperson and CEO of the Tobacco Institute of SA (Tisa) said.

"If these cigarettes were sold in South Africa, the loss in excise duties to Sars would have been R2 469 090."

Tisa destroyed the cigarettes for Sars last week, using custom-built mills that shredded them into fine pieces.

The shreddings were ploughed into landfill sites.

"The process took place in the presence of Sars officials," van der Merwe said.

Last year, an estimated 1.2 billion illegal cigarettes were seized in 7000 police raids, he said.

Also in 2011, 800 people were arrested on charges relating to the smuggling and trade of contraband cigarettes.

"The arrests should send a strong warning to other illicit traders that no one is above the law," Van der Merwe said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    sars  |  polokwane

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks more focused after Japan shock
Pumas, Namibia make 11 changes each
LIVE: New Zealand v Tonga
Springboks' bus driver inspires team in UK
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal scenario...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.