The Hawks on Sunday confirmed a task team seized half a billion rands worth of drugs at the Durban Harbour after acting on a tip-off.
“The team acted on information received which was operationalised on a container at the harbour”, the Hawks said in a statement.
Cocaine bust at Durban Harbour
The container was reported to be containing truck parts destined for SCANIA South Africa.
“The team proceeded to the said premises and established that Border police’s initial investigations revealed that it would be a ‘Rip on/Rip Off’ situation”.
A ‘Rip on/Rip Off’ is when the drugs are removed from the container clandestinely and the container seal replaced.
A search of the container was conducted, which revealed “several black canvas bags wrapped in plastic”. The bags contained cocaine bricks, and a second, sealed container was found in the container as well.
“The balance of the goods in the container were established to be truck cabs destined for the consignee (SCANIA SA)”.
The Hawks seized a total of 999 bricks of cocaine, weighing approximately 1000kgs, with a street value of R500 million. No arrests were made, however, the investigation continues.
Linked to Joburg drug bust
Authorities have reason to believe this consignment is linked to a similar drug bust carried out in Johannesburg on 9 July 2021.
That consignment was traced back to the Durban Port and was also disguised as Scania truck parts. At the time, four suspects were arrested, including three police officials.
“Investigations have revealed that the origin of all of these consignments is the Port of Santos in Brazil. Two more seizures were executed at a Depo in Isipingo, Durban and an even larger seizure in Gauteng where four suspects were arrested”.
Four tonnes seized since March
Colonel Katlego Mogale from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation say more than 4 tonnes of cocaine have been seized in South Africa since March 2021.
He said, “most of these drugs would have been destined for other countries whilst at least 20% would have remained behind as payment to the traffickers and consumption in the domestic market”.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation is still seeking assistance in locating a foreign national believed to be the mastermind behind some of these criminal activities.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Brigadier Devon Naicker on 082 778 2818 and Warrant Officer Brittion on 082 778 2815. Information received will be treated in the strictest confidentiality.