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'Cigarette smuggling' up in smoke for woman

By unknown | Jan 24, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Given Mahlalela

Given Mahlalela

A 37-year-old Mpumalanga woman appeared in the Tonga magistrate's court yesterday on a charge of importing illegal goods.

Police said they arrested Lucy Mahlalela, 37, of Nkungwini on Monday night at Mbuzini near Komatipoort during a routine roadblock.

Mahlalela, who was not asked to plead, is out on warning until February 13 pending further police investigation.

She was allegedly found in possession of 71 cartons of cigarettes brought into the country illegally from Mozambique. The cigarettes were valued at about R3000.

"We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to apprehend those who break the law," said Mbuzini police spokesman Constable Solani Hlahla.

Hlahla told Sowetan that the woman was coming from the direction of Mbuzini and was heading towards Tonga Road when she was apprehended.

"She was travelling in a minibus taxi. She looked innocent when we stopped the minibus taxi.

"On closer inspection, we were greeted by cartons of cigarettes hidden under the seats of the minibus," said Hlahla.

Last year police arrested three suspects, on the same stretch of road, with the same brand of cigarettes valued at more than R100000.

Three other suspects Michah Sifundza, 19, Octavia Jamaine, 40, both from Mozambique, and Linkie Ngobeni, 33, from Block C in Naas, were also arrested for smuggling illegal goods.


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