Members of the SANDF stationed at the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique confiscated alcohol with a street value of R1.3million on Friday night.
SANDF Joint Operations Division spokesperson Captain Jaco Theunissen said the members were deployed at the border to enforce lockdown regulations when they stopped two bakkies.
“The drivers of both vehicles disembarked and fled the scene. Upon searching the vehicles, alcohol with a street value of R1.3m was found and confiscated,” said Theunissen.
He said the alcohol and vehicles were handed over to the SAPS for investigation.
Police had not commented at the time of publication.
Tax Justice South Africa founder Yusuf Abramjee said the bust was “yet another example of how the prohibition of alcohol and cigarettes was handing the lucrative trade over to criminals”.
“Every day we see examples of illicit liquor and cigarettes being traded by crooks, who pay no attention to social distancing rules and will be paying no tax on their booming sales.
“Gangsters are taking over and law-abiding businesses are going to the wall, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of livelihoods. Whatever the intentions of the lockdown prohibition might be, its effects are catastrophic,” said Abramjee.
According to a draft framework open to public consultation, alcohol consumption might be allowed under level 3.
Under the wholesale and retail trade – covering stores, spaza shops, e-commerce, and informal traders category – the off-premise consumption of alcohol will be subject to limited hours (Monday to Wednesday, 8 am to noon) and an approved industry plan on physical distancing and quantitative restrictions.
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Source: Daily News