Contraband cigarettes destroyed

2012-10-24 20:50

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Johannesburg - Around R6.5m worth of contraband cigarettes were destroyed on Wednesday, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said.

"These illicit cigarettes were seized during various attempts to bring them into South Africa illegally through various methods of concealment and smuggling," Sars said in a statement.

A total of 800 master cases of cigarettes were shredded in special hammer mills at a dump site outside Stellenbosch, in the Western Cape.

The majority of cases were of the Pacific, Mega, and Chicago brands.

According to the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa the illicit trade in cigarettes comprised more than 25 percent of the total cigarette market in South Africa.

This equated to more than 15 million cigarettes being sold illegally every day, or more than six billion per year, defrauding the fiscus of around R4bn in unpaid excise duties this year.

- SAPA
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