JOHANNESBURG — A prominent Zimbabwe tobacco company, with ties to President Robert Mugabe, is suspected of smuggling millions of rands worth of illegal cigarettes into South Africa in what is thought to be a bid to help boost the country’s ailing economy.
The Sunday Times reported that Zimbabwe’s Savanna Tobacco is owned by prominent businessman Adam Molai, who is reportedly married to Mugabe’s niece, Sandra Mugabe.
Savanna Tobacco is believed to have moved tonnes of contraband into South Africa.
Savanna’s main brand, Pacific cigarettes, is allegedly being smuggled into the country and sold primarily in Cape Town.
In the past, Mugabe has openly supported Savanna and only a year ago accused rival company British American Tobacco of spying on Savanna and hijacking its trucks.