SANDF confiscates contraband near Mozambique border


South African Army soldiers have confiscated over R1 million worth of contraband from a house near the Mozambique border as part of border protection duty under Operation Corona.

Soldiers from Bravo Company, 21 South African Infantry Battalion deployed at the Joint Tactical Headquarters at Macadamia received a tipoff on 13 April that a house was being used to store contraband goods.

Soldiers, working alongside members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) cordoned off the house in Ngwenyeni, near the Mozambican border, to search it. As soldiers approached, three men ran away. When the house was searched, soldiers and police found 30 bales of new shoes, including 107 pairs of Jordans worth R85 600, 95 pairs of Nikes worth R764 800, 135 pairs of Adidas shoes worth R108 000, 239 pairs of Pumas worth R191 200 and two pairs of Lacoste shoes worth R1 600.

The confiscated shoes were handed over to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) at Komatipoort, according to Capt Lwazi Malgas of the Joint Tactical Headquarters in Mpumalanga.

Also on 13 April, soldiers confiscated dagga and illegal cigarettes worth R6 330 near Mbuzini.

21 South African Infantry Battalion recently took over from 9 South African Infantry Battalion on Operation Corona duties.

The contraband confiscation was not the first success this month for soldiers. On 1 April 44 bags of dagga worth more than R2 million was discovered by soldiers near Wepener in the Free State. The narcotic was presumably illegally brought across the Lesotho/South Africa border.

The seizure took place during a “routine patrol” by troops deployed as part of the national border protection tasking Operation Corona. There is a single company based on the Free State/Lesotho border at any one time along with 14 other companies doing similar patrol work on South Africa’s other land borders.