The South Africa Police Service (SAPS) has arrested two South African soldiers aged 27 and 38 along with a 30-year-old foreigner for using an army vehicle to transport smuggled goods.
The trio was intercepted near Baobab Truck-stop along the N1 highway on Friday evening with a consignment of 12 boxes of cigarettes worth R160 000 which had been smuggled from Zimbabwe.
The army men and the foreigner whose names are yet to be released by the neighbouring country’s police are expected to appear at the Musina Magistrate Court soon.
Limpopo police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed the arrests on Saturday, saying the trio was intercepted while en-route to meeting a potential buyer.
Brig Mojapelo said the vehicle was searched and 12 boxes of Remmington Gold cigarettes valued at R160 000 were found packed in the back of the vehicle.
He said the civilian was immediately arrested but the armed soldiers reportedly became confrontational and refused to be arrested. Said Brig Mojapelo:
The police confiscated the said vehicle. The soldiers were later brought to the police station by their Commander and were then detained.
They will be charged with possession of illicit cigarettes, defeating the ends of Justice and resisting arrest.
He said the undocumented foreigner will be charged with impersonating members of South Africa’s National Defence Forces (SANDF) and contravening a section of the Immigration Act.