A 33-year-old man caught smuggling illicit cigarettes worth over R200,000 in May was found guilty on Tuesday.
Desta Andualem was convicted by the Musina regional court. He was ordered to pay a fine of R600,000 or serve a five-year sentence, according to Limpopo police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo.
Andualem was nabbed during a Covid-19 police operation along the N1.
“When a white Ford Ranger driven by the convict approached, the vehicle was searched and 20 master boxes of Remington Gold cigarettes valued at R266,940 were found loaded at the back,” said Mojapelo.
Provincial commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba welcomed the sentence, which he said would be exemplary to perpetrators of similar crimes.
“This sentence must send a clear message to all smugglers that the police will stop at nothing when fighting this scourge. The speed with which this case was handled shows the determination of our justice system to stamp out the smuggling of illicit goods,” he said.