Ten people have been arrested after the Tshwane Metro Police Department seized illicit cigarettes worth around R1.5 million.
Officers also seized R325 000 in cash during the bust.
The department’s officers were patrolling in Lyttelton, Centurion, on Tuesday when they confronted a man roaming the streets. He could not produce a plausible explanation for being out during lockdown, said the unit’s spokesperson Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba.
“He was searched and the officers found four packets of cigarettes. Upon further questioning, he led them [the officers] to a flat where he bought the cigarettes,” Mahamba said.
The flat was raided by the officers.
“Nine people were found at the premises. The place was searched, and the officers discovered many boxes of cigarettes.
“The cigarettes found have an estimated street value of more than R1.5 million. Cash amounting to R325 000 was also seized.”
The sale of cigarettes has been prohibited under the current lockdown regulations.
Mahamba said all 10 people, including the person who was found with the cigarettes, were arrested for contravening the lockdown rules.
One of the arrested suspects has also been charged with bribery after he allegedly offered a R3 000 bribe to the officers.
All 10 suspects are expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court soon.