SANDF members accused of cross-border smuggling to remain in custody

It's understood they were charging R15,000 per car, allowing the vehicles to cross the border into Zimbabwe unhindered.

FILE: Police nabbed them in a joint operation that employed the skills of SAPS members in the Free State, North West and the Northern Cape. Picture: Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Seven South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members accused of cross-border smuggling will remain in custody for the rest of the month, at least.

They're facing charges of smuggling a vehicle across the Limpopo River in exchange for money.

It's understood they were charging R15,000 per car, allowing the vehicles to cross the border into Zimbabwe unhindered.

Police nabbed them in a joint operation that employed the skills of SAPS members in the Free State, North West and the Northern Cape.

The seven suspects have been on the police’s radar since 2017 after they were deployed to the Beitbridge Border Post.

They were finally cornered following an undercover operation at Musina along the Limpopo River.

The suspects made a brief court appearance at local magistrate’s court as the NPA’s Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi explains: “It is alleged that the members took bribes of R15,000 per vehicle in order to assist the syndicate members to cross the border to Zimbabwe through Limpopo.

The suspects held various ranks from private to lance corporal.

They're expected back in the dock for a formal application next Monday.

Over the weekend, another two soldiers were handcuffed for smuggling illicit cigarettes in to the Beitbridge border.

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