Illegal cigarettes worth over R1 million seized on the N12


Kimberley police confiscated illicit cigarettes worth over R1 million after responding to an accident scene on the N12, near Kimberley. 

The accident occurred on Tuesday on the N12 between a cargo truck and VW Polo.

“During the investigation of the accident scene, police discovered that boxes of illicit cigarettes worth over a million rand were stashed at the back of the truck in transit to Cape Town,” the South African Police Services (SAPS) said in a statement. 

“The driver of the truck and his co-driver have been arrested and charged with possession of illicit cigarettes.

“The suspects will be appearing before the Kimberley Magistrate Court soon. No person sustained injuries during the accident.”

About 5-billion cigarettes are thought to be produced illegally in South Africa each year and sold at prices well below those of legitimate, tax-paying businesses, according to estimates from the tobacco industry which ends up losing revenue amounting to billions of rand each year.

The fiscus has also lost an estimated tax revenue of R18 billion since 2010.

In addition to the illegal domestic local production, about 38% of illicit cigarettes consumed in South Africa each year are imported, with Zimbabwe being a major source.