Alleged cigarette heist foiled

2015-11-10 11:24
Cigarettes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cigarettes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - A cigarette heist over the weekend was foiled when the two who initially reported they were the victims, were found to be the masterminds of the operation.

The two men, both aged 25, appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday facing charges of perjury and theft. The matter was referred back to the Winterton police station for further investigations.

According to Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Constable Mthokozisi Ngobese, information was received on Saturday regarding stolen boxes of cigarettes that were hidden in Plessislaer.

A team comprising members from the Pietermaritzburg detectives, the K9 unit and the Pietermaritzburg flying squad were mobilised to follow up on the information. The team went to the Paca location in Plessislaer where 206 boxes of cigarettes were recovered. The team then went to Scottsville where another 29 boxes were recovered.

Ngobese said each box contained 25 cartons of Amalgamated Tobacco Manufacturing (ATM) branded cigarettes.

“All boxes were positively identified by the owner,” Ngobese said. “Two suspects who are the complainants in this case were arrested. The suspects are also employed by the cigarette company.”

It is believed that when the suspects were interviewed, it was revealed they offloaded the boxes from the distribution vehicle they were driving at both locations. The men allegedly then drove themselves up to Villiers where they abandoned their delivery van.

According to Ngobese, “somebody” then fetched the two men and left them in Winterton. The two men then allegedly reported a false hijacking case at the Winterton police station.

The Witness spoke to ATM director Yusuf Kajee yesterday who said the two men were employees of the distribution company their company uses.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cigarette  |  heists

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