Close to 100 000 packets of cigarettes worth P3 million have landed a Motswana woman in hot water after the police confirmed they were illegally smuggled into the country.
Following an anonymous tip off, the unnamed 28 year-old was weekend found and arrested by law enforcement officers from the BURS and DIS, who found her with the contraband at her White City location house in Gaborone. She was briefly detained and released while investigations continue, according to police spokesperson Witness Bosija.
“In total, we retrieved 83270 packets of cigarettes of different brands. All in packs of 10, there were 10424 packets of Mega; 171 78 packets of Pacific Blue; 50 053 packets of Dulla and 5615 packets of Sevilles. At street value, the cigarettes could be worth P3million. What is important for now is to find out how the cigarettes made their way into Botswana and what would be done with the packets,” Bosija said.
In the meantime, the woman was charged by the tax body BURS for failure to declare the goods at point of entry into the country. Over the years, Botswana has been known to be a transit point for tobacco products that are usually smuggled into South Africa. The most common entry point used by these smugglers is the border fence separating Botswana and South Africa in Ramotswa, which to date remains sprawled on the ground after it was destroyed for cross border crimes.
171 78 Pacific Blue packets of 10 each were among the thousands of cigarettes found at the White City house