WINDHOEK – Close to 600 packs of cigarettes with a street value of N$26 865 were seized at the Trans Kalahari Botswana-Namibia border post on Wednesday.
Zimbabwean national, Joakim Matemaminga, allegedly tried to smuggle the goods into Namibia to be distributed in Windhoek.
The cigarettes were found on a passenger Iveco minibus from Zimbabwe, tied with wire underneath the vehicle, according to the Regional Control Customs Officer, Martin Matengu.
The culprit - one of the passengers of the bus - was released to pay close to N$98 000 in fines, taxes and duties.
Matemaminga allegedly claimed he was sent to deliver the cigarettes, which he claimed did not belong to him.
Matengu elaborated that a customs officer detected the goods after a thorough physical examination of the vehicle.
Matemaminga has to pay the fine before the goods are released to him.
“An investigation is underway to determine if the cigarettes are fake or real,” said Matengu, adding that if the goods are counterfeit, then an arrest is imminent.
“It is the first time that we have seized such a large quantity of goods,” said a customs officer, who preferred to remain anonymous.