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Zim man gets R1 million fine or five years in jail for possession of illicit cigarettes


A Zimbabwean national was convicted in the Giyani Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for possessing illicit cigarettes valued at R2 million. On Friday, the court ordered Tauzeni Piason, 49, to either pay a fine of R1 million or face a five-year prison sentence. Additionally, Piason was fined R5,000.00 or sentenced to six months in jail for illegal immigration. The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo confirmed these sentences.

According to NPA spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, on December 3, 2023, police officers patrolling near the Nzhelele dam on the N1 highway discovered a white Toyota Quantum. Upon inspection, they found the vehicle loaded with 91 master boxes of Remington Gold cigarettes, with an estimated value exceeding R2 million.

During the sentencing phase, state prosecutor Sewela Mphasha argued that the offense was severe as it negatively impacted South Africa’s economy. Mphasha highlighted that illicit cigarettes lead to substantial revenue losses for the country since they evade customs duties.

Furthermore, Mphasha emphasized that Piason’s illegal presence in South Africa indicated a disregard for the country’s laws and regulations. The NPA expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, hoping that it would deter others from engaging in similar illicit activities in the future.

In other news – Fire breaks out at residence of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son

Late Friday night, a fire engulfed the residence of Deputy Finance Minister David Kudakwashe Mnangagwa, son of President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This incident occurred just days following two separate break-ins at the same property, which had prompted police investigations into security breaches on June 23.

During the first break-in, an intruder allegedly stole documents, laptops, and an iPad belonging to the Deputy Finance Minister, later abandoning them on the rooftop after police arrived to inspect the scene. In another incident, cartridges were reportedly left outside a bedroom door and on the lawn. Read More

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