KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has commended the successful operation by a multi-disciplinary team of police intelligence and border agents at the Port of Durban which has taken millions of rand worth of drugs off the street.
Police seized drugs valued at R150 million packed in meat boxes at the Durban Harbour on Monday night.
According to the national police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, a multi-disciplinary team intercepted and inspected a container at a cold storage facility and found 433 blocks of cocaine disguised in meat boxes. The container was en route from Brazil.
The Premier has commended the dedicated law enforcement officials for their outstanding efforts.
“This operation again emphasises the value of collaboration with our international counterparts on intelligence across our borders and oceans. Just this one operation has removed from our streets illicit drugs valued at an estimated R150 million.
“It comes just two months after another intelligence driven operation resulted in the discovery of 200 blocks of cocaine with an estimated value of R70 million hidden in 20 litre paint containers at the Durban Harbour,” the Premier said.
The Premier commended the cooperation of law enforcement agencies for their dedication to public safety and justice and their ceaseless efforts at making our province and country safe.
She said the success of this operation serves as a powerful message against those who seek to exploit communities through illicit activities.
“The removal of such a substantial quantity of drugs from circulation is a significant step in safeguarding the well-being of our citizens, particularly our youth and women.
“As we head into the holiday period this means our streets will be safer as the joint operation by our officers has removed these killer drugs from circulation and from being sold to our young people,” Dube-Ncube said.
The Premier noted that the country is observing the 16 Days of Activism for no Violence Against Women and Child, and “drugs are known to play a significant role in fueling the epidemic of abuse”.
“We want to send a message to criminals, especially drug dealers that we will not allow our cities to be overtaken by drugs. We call on all members of our community to work together with law enforcement agencies to identify those who are involved in crime in our communities so that they can be apprehended and kept behind bars.
“Our message to all drug lords is that KwaZulu-Natal is not a place for drugs, or any other criminal activities and we will leave no stone unturned to find the criminals wherever they are,” the Premier warned.
The SA Police Service pointed out the latest bust is the third big bust in two months at this harbour. In October, cocaine worth R150 million was seized.
Meanwhile, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola met with the Police Chief of the Brazilian Federal Police, Andrei Passos Rodrigues on the sidelines of the Interpol Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Vienna this past week.
Masemola discussed the influx of drugs into SA from their ports. A decision was made to enhance the level of cooperation which has already seen great successes in the sharing of information on drugs and other criminal activities as well as countering international crime syndicates.