The Northern Cape Police are reinforcing efforts to eradicate the sale and trafficking of counterfeit goods, with the focus on illicit cigarettes and tobacco products.

The Provincial Organised Crime Unit and Provincial Crime Intelligence in conjunction with, the Provincial Firearm, Liquor and Second Hand Goods Unit (FLASH), the Kimberley Public Order Police (POP), the Kuruman K9, Highway patrol and Crime Prevention Units, Prieska VISPOL, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) Customs and National Rapid Response team and the Department of Home Affairs Immigration Services conducted intelligence driven operations.

Operations were executed in Kimberley, Kuruman and Prieska that commenced on Monday, 13 November 2023.

These multi-disciplinary operations were conducted on intelligence gathering efforts.

The police seized various brands of illicit cigarettes and wooka tobacco valued at approximately R7.8 million and issued fines to the value of R1 500-00 for dealing in illicit medicine.

The shop owners were served with compliance notices requesting them to provide the authorities with the required documentation permitting them to possess such consignments.

One suspect (33), a Bangladeshi national was arrested on a previous warrant of arrest and will appear in the Kimberley Magistrates Court soon.

The Northern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Koliswa Otola applauded the collective efforts of law enforcement agencies, citing that the current levels of illicit trade needs to be addressed urgently and the police will strengthen compliance control measures in combatting illicit related crimes.