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Lesotho diplomats expelled from S/Africa over illicit alcohol trade

Several Lesotho diplomats have been expelled from neighbouring South Africa over the “illicit trade in duty-free alcohol”, the Maseru authorities…

Several Lesotho diplomats have been expelled from neighbouring South Africa over the “illicit trade in duty-free alcohol”, the Maseru authorities announced on Thursday.In a statement, Lesotho’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relations said an unnamed number of its officials and their families had been given 72 hours to leave South Africa after being found guilty of violating the neighbouring country’s laws “specifically, the illicit trade in duty-free alcohol”.

The ministry expressed “disappointment and embarrassment that several Basotho diplomats…have been declared persona non grata (an unacceptable or unwelcome person)” by South Africa.

South African media reported that the Lesotho diplomats have been allegedly abusing their diplomatic privileges by bringing alcohol into the country without paying duty and then re-selling it in bars and restaurants.

The Lesotho authorities vowed disciplinary action against the officials.

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