Six police officers arrested for corruption related to smuggling illicit cigarettes into SA

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Six police officers, deployed along the border post between South Africa and Zimbabwe in Musina, Limpopo have been arrested for corruption relating to smuggling of illicit cigarettes into the country.

Deputy provincial commissioner responsible for crime detection in Limpopo, major general Samuel Manala says the police officers aged between 31 and 55 who are attached to Tshamutumbu police station were arrested on Friday.

He says the six officers will appear before Musina Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

Major General Samuel Manala says: “Six police members were arrested as a result of culmination of intensive investigation after we received several complaints from the public about police officials deployed along the border line being involved in various acts of corrupt.

The activities of assisting a syndicate involved in illicit smuggling of cigarettes’, the members are allegedly created a safer passage for the smugglers to enter the country illegally.”

Earlier this year, Police Minister Bheki Cele said there should be better coordination and alignment between South Africa and its neighbours to combat cross-border crimes.

Video | Police Minister Bheki Cele releases crimes statistics for the third quarter of 2021-2022

He said the laws in the different countries make it difficult to pursue criminals across borders.

Briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Police on the third quarter statistics for the 2021-2022 financial year, Cele gave an example of cars found in Mozambique after being stolen from South Africa.

“In South Africa, if you buy stolen goods, you are not innocent, but there, the buyers [are] always innocent. Which means  once the car is on the other side and is bought, you can’t take it from that owner because the buyer is innocent,” says Cele.