Up in smoke: Sars to destroy R18m worth of illegal cigarettes in CT today

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said that various government departments fighting illegal imports and exports would destroy 12 million cigarettes at a warehouse on Cape Town's Foreshore.

FILE: Sars said the illegal cigarettes being destroyed were seized in various operations, including a raid on a 40-foot container smuggled into the country. Picture: 123rf

CAPE TOWN – Illegal cigarettes worth R18 million will be destroyed in Cape Town on Friday.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said that various government departments fighting illegal imports and exports would destroy 12 million cigarettes at a warehouse on Cape Town's Foreshore.

The smokes would be shredded with due regard for health and safety protocols and the waste would be transferred to a secured landfill site.

Sars said that the illegal cigarettes being destroyed were seized in various operations, including a raid on a 40-foot container smuggled into the country and falsely declared as another commodity.

The revenue service said that the clampdown on illicit imports and exports was a major focus of government under the auspices of the Inter-Agency Working Group on Illicit Trade, which consisted of several departments and agencies.

The group focused on illegal clothing, textiles, footwear, leather, infrastructure sold as scrap metal and second-hand motor vehicles.

Sars said that the fight against illegal imports and exports was important because it reduced the amount of revenue it collects.

The service was also trying to sensitise the public to the harm that illegal goods did to the economy and the health of people, as well as how they were a source of funding for criminal syndicates.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.