The Directorate of Priority Crime, also known as the Hawks, have seized a massive haul of cocaine in the port of Ngqura with a street value of R720 million.
The cocaine was on its way from Brazil when it was seized. A total of 706 kg of drugs, packed into 1 kg bags, was confiscated on 7 January. The Hawks on Tuesday said the seizure resulted from a 12 day operation assisted by Interpol, the South African Police Service, customs and Coega Port Management. A sniffer dog managed to find the drugs.
National Head of the Hawks, Advocate Godfrey Lebeya, said the cocaine was hidden at the bottom of a container ship under thousands of shipping containers. He added that the ship was destined for India with a stop in Singapore.
No arrests have yet been made but authorities in Brazil, India and Singapore are investigating the matter.
The seizure is one of South Africa’s biggest ever drug busts and compares with an October 2009 bust in Durban where R600 million worth of drugs were seized, and a June 2017 bust on a farm in Villiersdorp where R500 million worth of cocaine was discovered. In 2010, cocaine worth more than R400 million was seized at the Port of Ngqura. It had been hidden inside the frame of a shipping container.