–Edited by Bev Mortimer- Illicit cigarettes and medication worth millions of South African Rands were seized by SAPS in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, yesterday evening, 5 May.
This is the second seizure of illicit cigarettes in South Africa this month . On 3 May the South African Hawks seized +R7-million worth of cigarettes in the North West Province . ( Read: hawks-arrest-alleged-smuggler-with-r7-m-illicit-cigarettes/ )
After receiving a tip-off about illicit cigarettes and drugs in the Fordsburg suburb of Johannesburg, members of the SAPS Organised Crime Investagion (OCI) unit raided premises at a given address. They found medicine protected by the Medicines and Related Substances Act, plus a large quantity of illicit cigarettes hidden in a self-made ceiling shelf.
Three men, aged 23, 28 and 31, were arrested for contravention of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, Contravention of Customs and Excise Act (possession of illicit cigarettes). The illicit goods and a white Isuzu bakkie were confiscated .
The arrested suspects are expected to appear in Johannesburg Magistrate Court soon.
Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, thanked and saluted community members who report criminal activities to the police. “I also applaud my members from OCI unit, who acted with diligence to apprehend the suspects,” Lieutenant General Mawela said.
The public is urged to report crime and any criminal activity to the SAPS Crime Stop Number 08600 10111, or to send tip-offs on MySAPS Application which can be downloaded on any smartphone.