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Illegal cigarettes destroyed

Western Cape customs officials have destroyed thousands of counterfeit packets.

South Africa plans to increase ban on smoking in public places and certain outdoor places. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape customs officials on Friday destroyed thousands of counterfeit cigarettes.

The cigarettes, which are estimated to be worth R4 million, were destroyed on a farm outside Atlantis.

It is believed around 80 percent of illicit cigarettes coming into South Africa are from Zimbabwe.

South African Revenue Service (Sars) spokesperson Adrian Lackay said they want to put a stop to the trade.

Meanwhile, more than 16 million illegal cigarettes were seized across the country in May.

The Tobacco Institute of South Africa loses around R4 billion in taxes annually due to the illegal trade.