Two soldiers were arrested for allegedly transporting illicit cigarettes across the border using an SANDF vehicle.

The police spokesperson in Polokwane, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, said the two members were arrested along with a 30-year-old undocumented foreign national yesterday.

Mojapelo said police at Beitbridge received information about an army vehicle loaded with illicit cigarettes which were to be delivered to an unidentified buyer around Musina.

“They then reacted by staging a stop-and-search operation next to the Baobab Truck Park along the N1 road north of Musina. The army vehicle fitting the description given approached and the members pulled it over”.

The soldiers and a civilian wearing an army jacket alighted from the vehicle, which was then searched and 12 boxes of illicit cigarettes were found.

He said “The value of the illicit cigarettes stands at R160 000. The civilian was immediately arrested but the armed soldiers reportedly became confrontational and refused to be arrested”.

The vehicle was also seized.

Mojapelo also said the soldiers were later brought to the police station by their commander and were then detained. They were charged with possession of illicit cigarettes, defeating the ends of justice and resisting arrest.

The other suspect will be charged with impersonating SANDF members and contravening the Immigration Act.

Mojapelo added that the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, has commended the members for their swift reaction to the information provided which led to these arrests.