Hawks seize R700 million worth of cocaine in joint operation

South African Police Service

Hawks seize R700 million worth of cocaine in joint operation. Photo: SAPS
Hawks seize R700 million worth of cocaine in joint operation. Photo: SAPS

A joint investigation between Hawks Port Elizabeth Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Interpol, Crime Intelligence, Border Police, South African Revenue Service, Criminal Record Centre, Customs, TRT, Harbour Master, Dark Water OPS and K9 Unit has yielded approximately R700 million worth of uncut cocaine during a drug raid at Coega Harbour on Monday, 7 January 2019.

The massive bust, emanates from information received from Interpol regarding a vessel which was carrying 706 kg worth of cocaine from Brazil to South Africa.

Since the 27 December 2018, the vessel was observed with the assistance of Interpol from both local and abroad. It had already been established that the vessel was going to dock at Coega Harbour and continue to Singapore before going to its final destination in India with the illegal cargo.

The crime was not only committed in the country where the cargo was harvested and produced but it was also committed in Brazil where the cargo was clandestinely loaded into the ship. The crime continued in high seas and in South African waters.

The consignment of 706 cocaine bricks were found concealed at the bottom floor of the ship below more than 3669 containers. They have since been seized and investigations are still continuing. The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has applauded the multi-disciplinary team for the considerable seizure.

“By confiscating this cargo, we have severed the supply chain. But the war on drugs has neither been lost nor won. We are still going to put more efforts in targeting the supply of these dangerous dependence producing substances. We will not be allowing these substances to go and ruin the lives of innocent people whose health are being turned into drug addicts.

“We are making a call to all communities not to do drugs. Do not demand drugs. Do not apply for a criminal record of doing drugs. If you stop demanding drugs, cartels will not be producing or delivering them. The empires of the cartels will fall. Severe the demand chain. The power to stop this is in your hands. “We want to thank all those who continue to provide us with the information and we will continue to respond. The investigation in this matter continues,” said General Lebeya.

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