R70 Million Cocaine Bust at Durban Harbour in Intelligence Driven Operation

Crime/18 October 2023,20:34pm/Mpho Mokoena

(DPCI) in KwaZulu-Natal, seized cocaine worth R70 million:image supplied

By Mpho Mokoena: In an intelligence-driven operation, members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Durban Harbour and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) in KwaZulu-Natal, seized cocaine worth R70 million.

Over the past month, the authorities have monitored and kept surveillance on a vessel journeying from Brazil to South Africa. Before the vessel docked at the Port of Durban, the team intercepted and mobilised various units and resources to conduct a search and seize operation on the identified containers.

In a multidisciplinary operation conducted on Wednesday, October 18th, 20-litre paint containers were confiscated. Concealed within, 200 blocks of cocaine worth R70 million were discovered.

The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, who leads the management of SAPS lauded the meticulous investigative work. He stated, “We will continue to stamp the authority of the state. We are strengthening our response and our strategy in dealing with these syndicates.”

General Fannie Masemola, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, noted that the National Safer Festive Season Operations are in full swing. “Well done to the team for intercepting these drugs hidden in paint. This is only the beginning of our safer festive operations. Last week we confiscated R75 million worth of counterfeit goods in Cape Town. We will continue to intercept these illicit activities nationwide. We are heightening our fight against crime, particularly organised crime syndicates. This investigation will focus on the origin and destination of the drugs to ensure we effect arrests,” said General Masemola.

Earlier in the day, a delegation led by Minister Cele visited the families of Warrant Officer Sthembiso Mazibuko, who was fatally shot during an operation in Ntuzuma yesterday. The officer had 17 years of service and was attached to the National Intervention Unit (NIU). The delegation also visited the officer injured in the same operation, wishing him a speedy recovery. Details about the funeral arrangements for the fallen officer will be announced shortly.

The operation underlines the continued determination of the South African authorities to combat drug trafficking and other illicit activities, ensuring the safety and security of the nation.


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