R1m worth of illegal cigarettes seized

2012-04-07 15:44
Durban - A man was arrested in possession of over R1m worth of counterfeit cigarettes in Crescent Street, Overport, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.

On Friday, the man was arrested in a joint operation between police, the tactical response team, customs officials and investigators from a tobacco company, Captain Thulani Zwane said.

The cigarettes were confiscated and the man's Kia bakkie was impounded.

"The cigarettes are allegedly unlawfully manufactured and smuggled into the country, thereby effectively bypassing import quality control checks and the payment of customs and excise duties," Zwane said.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said the illegal cigarette trade deprived the economy of millions of Rands and had "far reaching consequences for the economy of the country as a whole".

The man was expected to appear in Durban Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.
- SAPA
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