Some 1 000 boxes of cigarettes impounded at Rundu

RUNDU: Over 1 000 boxes containing an unknown number of cigarette packets worth about N.dollars 1 billion were impounded at the Divundu and Masivi road blocks of the Kavango East and West regions respectively on Thursday.

The cigarettes, which were destined for South Africa, are suspected to have been smuggled into Namibia, presumably to avoid paying sin tax.

The boxes of cigarettes were being ferried in two trucks with South African number plates, which are authorised to exclusively transport liquefied petroleum gas.

The breakthrough was made by Customs and Excise officials together with the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Thursday, following a tip-off from members of the public.

The boxes of cigarettes, which are of the Kingdom brand, were coming from Zimbabwe en-route to South Africa via Namibia.

The Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Kavango East regional acting Crime Investigations Coordinator, Detective Chief Inspector Chrispin Mubebo told reporters on Thursday that the value of the confiscated cigarettes has not yet been established and will be calculated.

Referred to as ‘cheap cigarettes’ on the social scene, the Kingdom brand is just one of many brands that are circulating amongst corner shops and on the streets of urban southern Africa to meet the desire for nicotine, while the prices of established brands are increasing outside of the average person’s budget.