Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Bultfontein: On Friday; 25 March 2022, a roadblock was conducted from 15:00 until 18:00 on the Bultfontein/Soutpan Road.

The operation was led by the Station Commander of Bultfontein SAPS, Lieutenant Colonel Ndoyisile Tafane, Vispol Commander, Captain Tsediso Ramatsoele and SAPS members of Bultfontein Police Station.

At about 16:45, a truck was stopped and searched. Upon conducting a search, members observed plastic bags containing packets of chips, covering the illicit cigarettes inside the truck.

The two occupants were questioned upon which they failed to produce any documents to be in possession of the cigarettes valued at R2 Million. The truck was also seized by SAPS members.

A 38 year-old female driver and a 35 year-old male passenger were arrested on a charge of possession of illicit cigarettes. The Department of Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA) investigator was also called to the scene, where it was confirmed to be illicit cigarettes.

The two suspects appeared in the Bultfontein Magistrate’s Court on Monday; 28 March 2022. The case against Mbali Dladla (38) and Nelisiwe Dladla (35), both from Pietermaritzburg, was postponed until 04 April 2022 for a formal bail application and they were remanded in custody.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner of the Free State, Maj Gen Solly Lesia applauded the Station Commander and his team for their vigilance while conducting searches during the roadblock.

He further said this seizure of illicit cigarettes is a breakthrough and that it will send a clear message that illegal dealing of cigarettes, will never be tolerated in South Africa.