SA Cops Aiding Zim Cigarettes Smuggling



SIX members of the South African Police Services (Saps) were last week alllegedly arrested for being
part to organised crime aiding the smuggling of cigarettes from Zimbabwe into that country.
The six were based at Tshamutumbu Police Station in Vhembe District.
The police station is located some 60 kilometres downstream of the Limpopo River from Beitbridge
border post and just a few kilometres from an illegal crossing point on the river.
In a media statement last weekend Saps spokesperson in Limpopo Province Brigadier Motlafela
Mojapelo said the six officers whose names have been withheld until their initial remand.
"The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has
welcomed the arrest of six police officers attached to Tshamutumbu police station in the Vhembe
District during a blitz operation conducted today, Friday 25 November 2022," said Mojapelo.
The ‘take down operation’ was led by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner responsible for Crime
Detection Major General Samuel Manala assisted by the Provincial Head of Organised Crime
Brigadier Sakie Brancon and Lieutenant Colonel Norman Malungane as well as other members of the
Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit," he said.
The arrests were results of a culmination of intense investigations following receipt of several
complaints from the public about police officials deployed along the border line involved in corrupt
activities by assisting the syndicates involved in illicit cigarettes smuggling," he said.
Those arrested allegedly created a safe passage for the smugglers to enter the country illegally and
in possession of illicit cigarettes in exchange for gratifications and bribes, Mojapelo said.
A lengthy investigation was conducted by the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit resulting in a joint
operation conducted by the members of the Provincial Detectives, Organised Crime and Crime
Intelligence together with the Tactical Response Team Unit (TRT) to apprehend two Warrant
Officers, three Sergeants and a Constable. The members were at work and some were at their
homes in Musina and Thohoyandou policing precincts respectively, said Mojapelo.
Cigarettes of Zimbabwean origin, illicit in SA, are a billion dollar business Industry and scores of
locals from as far as Harare are into the trade.
Rival gang wars centred on cigarettes are common in that country and have at times resulted in
deaths of Zimbabweans.

Comments are closed.