South Africa and Zimbabwe have stepped up border patrols in a bid to stop cigarette smuggling, which has boomed since Pretoria banned the sale of tobacco in March.

The country claimed smokers were more prone to Covid-19 – something that has been challenged by tobacco companies – but the illegal trade has increased, despite South Africa erecting a R37m (£1.7m) 25-mile fence across the border in April as part of its measures to curb the spread of coronavirus. Smugglers have been crawling through broken sections of the fence and taking advance of the particularly porous Beitbridge/Musina…



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