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SITEKI – A suspected cigarette smuggler was yesterday morning shot dead by soldiers near Lugongolweni, not far from Siteki town.

Information gathered is that the killed suspect was in the company of two other men, who managed to escape and hid in nearby bushes, when the soldiers opened fire.

The two other men are reportedly still at large.
The trio was travelling in a maroon Toyota Camry sedan.
The vehicle was abandoned on the scene and is currently kept at the Siteki police station.


A source told the Times that the alleged smugglers had managed to illegally cross into Swaziland from Mozambique with unconfirmed volumes of cigarettes (GT brand).
“They also managed to pass through the army check point which is positioned at the Sitsatsaweni-Mhlumeni junction. However, just minutes after passing through the army check-point, an army vehicle followed them and were ordered to stop. It is then that the shooting occurred,” a source explained.

Army Public Relations Officer (PRO) Major Madoda Mkhatshwa confirmed the incident, before explaining: “The men stopped upon being ordered to do so by the soldiers who had been tipped off. But while the soldiers were questioning them, the deceased tried to disarm one of the soldiers and as a result he got shot in the scuffle.”

Mkhatshwa further stated that cases of cigarette smuggling were on the rise in Siteki and surrounding areas since the smugglers were rewarded with huge profits by evading paying tax at the border.

 Police Deputy Information and Communications Officer (ICO) Assistant Superintendent Khulani Mamba also confirmed the matter, adding that Siteki police had since launched an investigation into the incident

Meanwhile, police sources said the identity of the deceased is still unknown but it is believed that he is a Swazi.


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