Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
South African police have arrested a Zimbabwean woman (35) along with four others aged between 28 and 42 whom they found with smuggled cigarettes worth thousands of Rands along the N1 highway in Limpopo province.
It is suspected that the contraband was smuggled into the neighbouring country and the police are yet to verify the nationality of four others. Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a statement today that the gang was arrested between Saturday and Sunday in two separate incidents.
He said all of them were arrested following high speed car chases when they failed to stop at police check points which are being rolled out under ongoing Crime Prevention operations.
Brigadier Mojapelo said three suspects were arrested in Modimolle on Saturday while the Zimbabwean and her accomplice were picked up Botlokwa north of Polokwane on Sunday morning.
“In Modimolle, the police were busy conducting crime prevention duties when they attempted to pull over a pick-up truck, but the driver failed to stop and sped off towards Bela-Bela,” he said.
“A car chase then ensued and members contacted their colleagues in Bela-Bela who quickly responded. The vehicle was spotted and cornered at one of the intersections and it was then searched leading to the discovery of 1000 cartoons of illicit cigarettes and the subsequent arrest of the trio”.
The official said the Zimbabwean woman who was also travelling with a minor child was arrested in the company of a 30 year old man driving towards Gauteng province.