Four suspects have been arrested after they were caught smuggling illicit cigarettes worth more than R1 million into South Africa, Limpopo police have said.
The suspects were arrested during an operation after police received a tip-off about illicit cigarettes being transported into the country on Sunday.
"Members of the South African Police Service, including the K9 (dog unit), the South African National Defence Force and customs officials jointly conducted a snap operation along the N1 between Beitbridge and Musina," said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
According to Mojapelo, police officers stopped and searched a vehicle with two occupants and found illicit cigarettes stacked into bags.
Upon further investigation, the police were led to a nearby mall where another suspect was found loading illicit cigarettes into a vehicle.
"The suspect attempted to evade arrest but was quickly apprehended after a short pursuit," said Mojapelo.
Information also surfaced that the cigarettes were to be transported to a warehouse in Musina where more cigarettes were stored, he added.
The police team went to the address and found a vehicle parked at the warehouse, loaded with more illicit cigarettes.
In the warehouse, boxes of cigarettes were also discovered, and a fourth suspect was found hiding between the boxes.
All four were arrested, three vehicles and 4 040 cartons of cigarettes worth more than R1 million were confiscated.
"The suspects, all foreign nationals, are expected to appear in the Musina Magistrate's Court soon," said Mojapelo.