South Africa: Suspect in court for trading in illicit tobacco worth over R10 million

An Eastern Cape man is to appear in the East London Magistrate’s Court on Friday after he was allegedly found in possession of illicit tobacco worth R10 million.

In a statement released on Friday, spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in the province, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, said members of the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team responded to information from a whistle-blower.

The 31-year-old suspect faces charges of trading in illicit products after he was arrested on Wednesday.

Mgolodela said the investigation team searched a Thorn Park farm, the residence of the accused, and uncovered illicit tobacco with a street value of R10 million.

“The suspect will make his first court appearance in East London Magistrate’s Court on Friday, July 23,” she said.

In an unrelated incident, three suspects between the ages of 18 and 28 are expected to appear in the Kirkwood Magistrate’s Court on Monday as they face charges of damaging or destroying essential infrastructure and possession of copper cables worth over R3 000 in Addo in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

According to the police’s Sergeant Majola Nkohli, police in collaboration with a private security company conducted an operation to combat the theft of copper cables along the railway lines.

Advanced technology led to the apprehension of the suspects.

“The use of technological monitoring equipment led to the arrest of three suspects and the recovery of two cable bundles worth R3 500. Police also seized a vehicle for further investigation.

“The suspects are expected to appear in court on charges relating to the contravention of the Criminal Matters Amendment Act 18 of 2015,” Nkohli said.

Source: African News Agency