Nelspruit - Eight police officers from the Lydenburg K9 Unit in Mpumalanga were arrested on Tuesday morning for alleged corruption involving illegal cigarettes, the Hawks said.Two other people were also arrested after allegedly being found in possession of illegal cigarettes while the Hawks were arresting the officers nearby.Spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said one warrant officer, one sergeant and six constables, together with another constable who was arrested previously, were believed to be members of a syndicate that escorted vehicles transporting illegal cigarettes to Lydenburg and surrounding areas. "[On July 30] the officers allegedly stopped a car and upon searching it they found illicit cigarettes and R510 000 cash," Mulaudzi said."The officers locked the two suspects at the back of the police van, drove to the industrial area where they took R50 000 of the confiscated cash and gave the rest to the owners, who refused to take the money and later alerted the Hawks."Two turn state witnessMulaudzi said the two were now state witnesses."They are under our watchful eye," he said. "They are assisting us."Constable Elias Mokwana, 37, was arrested on July 31 and was expected to appear in the Lydenburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for a bail application."The eight suspects, aged between 30 and 49, will appear in the Lydenburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, with their case likely to be postponed to Wednesday for them to join their co-accused Mokwana," Mulaudzi said.The officers faced charges of corruption, defeating the ends of justice, conspiracy to commit a crime, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and kidnapping.Mulaudzi said as the Hawks were making the arrests on Tuesday, they also arrested a man and a woman and took three other people in for questioning after they were found with two bakkies full of illicit cigarettes nearby.He estimated the value of the cigarettes at half a million rand.The two were also expected to appear in the Lydenburg Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.