Hawks intercept R243m drugs haul


An intelligence driven operation on Tuesday morning saw police successfully slam the brakes on a R243 million drugs consignment in an Isipingo depot, in Durban.

In a statement, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI/Hawks) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said the operation was conducted in the early hours of yesterday morning at a container depot on Avenue East in Isipingo.

Police pounced on the depot after information of smuggling of drugs into the country was received.

“The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team with the members from Durban Harbour, as well as Crime Intelligence Border Security, proceeded to the depot where the container which supposedly had animal food was identified and a search was conducted,” said Nkwalase.

“Twenty-six canvas bags with Tik Tok and Jaguar brands were found with bricks of cocaine. The drugs weighing 541 kilograms with an estimated value of more than R243 million were confiscated.

“An investigation to apprehend the perpetrators and prevent contraband drugs into our country is continuing, he said.

National Hawks head Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya heaped praise on the team for the operation.

“We are closing in on the drug cartels. This drug bust shows that there are organised criminal groupings that are involved in organising the movement of these dangerous dependent producing substances from one country to the other. While fighting the supply of these substances, we appeal to the community not to demand the supply which will ultimately help in closing the market.”

The discovery of this consignment is the latest in a series of recent successful operations amounting to millions of rand.