South African police make record R2 billion heroin bust


South African police have seized heroin worth more than two billion rand ($190 million) and arrested two Chinese nationals in the biggest drugs bust in the country’s history, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Police officers also arrested one South African during a raid late on Tuesday at a house in Kloof, 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the coastal city of Durban, home to the Africa’s largest and busiest port.
“We got a tip-off from community members and officers went to the house and found this large amount of heroin,” police spokesman Thulani Zwane said.

The house contained a sophisticated drug laboratory, according to police. “There are lots of machines and chemicals inside the house that we believe were used in the manufacture of drugs for further distribution. This is a plant on a scale that we have never seen,” Zwane said.

South Africa is the continent’s biggest market for recreational drugs and the use of narcotics is on the rise, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

In a separate incident, police seized over R800 000 worth of perlemoen in Johannesburg. It was being transported in a minibus by two men, who fled the vehicle when police approached. One man was arrested.