- Tobacco sales have been banned under lockdown regulations, but illegal trade still persists
- A recent video revealed how two cigarette smugglers were caught red-handed by alert police officers
- South Africans reacted strongly to the news, but many blamed the government for the situation
Police officers boast thousands of arrests and fines during the nationwide lockdown, but many of these perpetrators would not have been deemed guilty of any offence a few weeks ago.
Since the lockdown regulations have been enforced, the sale of tobacco has been banned.
As a result, those selling cigarettes or other tobacco products are now seen as smugglers and the illicit trade has been booming.
Many smokers have taken to the black market to get their fix and Briefly.co.za gathered some smugglers are selling their products with a markup as much as 200%.
However, Twitter user Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) shared a video on Monday, which revealed how two smugglers were caught in the act.
The footage shows how the couple are forced to unpack the trunk of their car, which is filled with cartons of cigarettes.
The video can be viewed below.
Briefly.co.za shared some of the comments below and it soon became clear that the man on the street feels that government is to blame for the current state of affairs.
Joker (@TheJoker1007) said,
"Yusuf, these guys are making a living. The president is encouraging and forcing ordinary SAfricans by buying these illegal ciggies. Can we blame them? Blame Cyril and and his 1 st Lady Dlamini Zuma. They are the real perpetrators here."
Mohamed (@MoMagic101) added,
"They should not have let the lady offload, nor embarrass the father infront of the child. The cops are even bigger thugs in SA! Go after real criminals, murderers, rapists & hijackers. Easy to be all gangster on a man not showing any resistance."
Alyson (@Alyson29629871) said,
"Oh my word just let us smoke freely after all and this won't happen the money will go right back into the economy like u did with alcohol."
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that Sturks Tobacco Shop in Cape Town, one of South Africa's oldest businesses, has had to close its doors due to the ban on tobacco sales.
The business, which was opened in 1793 and has been around for 226 years, has never closed until now.
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