Sep 21, 2021

SARS To Demolish Illegal Cigarettes Valued At R18 Million

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The illegal cigarettes were seized in various operations including the seizure of a 40-foot container that was smuggled into the country.

FILE PHOTO: Cigarettes are seen during manufacturing process in BAT Cigarette Factory in Bayreuth. PICTURE: Thomson Reuters

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CAPE TOWN: SARS and other government departments set for the demolition of 12 million illegal cigarettes in Cape Town.

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) with the help of the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) intent to destroy 12 million illegal cigarettes valued at R18 million.

The fight against illicit trade continues as SARS and other government departments set for the demolition of 12 million illegal cigarettes at a state warehouse in Cape Town, Foreshore earlier today.

The illegal cigarettes were seized in various operations including the seizure of a 40-foot container that was smuggled into the country and falsely declared as another item.

In a statement by SARS, the agency said this destruction of illegal goods is aimed at sending a strong message that, “the government has adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards illegal trade and to sensitize the public about the harm that these goods do to our economy and the health of our people”.

“Such illegal activities destroy the country’s manufacturing capacity, which in turn lead to unemployment, inequality and poverty. Illegal imports and exports are also a source of funding for criminal syndicates,” said the Agency

Fighting to curb the scourge of illicit trade, SARS says it has prioritized it as one of the major importance because illegal imports and exports reduce the amount of revenue collected in the country.

“The revenue generated plays an important role in enabling the government to build a capable state that provides basic services to poor and vulnerable individuals and households as well as reliefs to employers and employees during the Covid19 pandemic,” said SARS.

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