Two Zimbabwean national male suspects Charles Kahneman aged 27, and Leo Tafireyi aged 37, have been remanded in custody following their appearance in Phalala Magistrate’s Court in Witpoort outside Lephalale on Tuesday 27 February 2024, where they faced charges related to possession of illicit cigarettes worth millions of rands. Their case was postponed to 08 March 2024 for profiling and further investigation.

The arrests were effected in the early hours of Sunday, 25 February2024, during a well-coordinated operation conducted by SAPS members derived from various units assisted by private security companies and CPF members, who acted on actionable intelligence regarding two vehicles transporting illicit cigarettes en route to Lephalale.

The vehicles were intercepted between Marken and Baltimore. They were found fully loaded with illicit cigarettes valued at an estimated street value of R5 million. Both drivers were arrested and the illicit goods confiscated.

The Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded this team of members for the excellent work. She indicated that investigations are ongoing to unravel the extent of the network and to identify additional individuals involved in these illegal operations.