R75 million worth of heroin recovered, smuggler arrested

South African Police Service

R75 million worth of heroin recovered, smuggler arrested
R75 million worth of heroin recovered, smuggler arrested. Photo: SAPS

The Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime team remains committed to disrupt the proliferation of illegal drugs and ensure those involved in smuggling them face the full might of the law.

This is evident in the multi-disciplinary operation that was conducted in Mpumalanga on Sunday, 16 July 2023 wherein a 49-year-old foreign national was apprehended.

It is reported that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s South African Narcotic Bureau received information from Witrivier K9 on a truck that could possibly be ferrying illegal drugs.

Hawks’ Secunda SANEB with the assistance of Elukwatini Local Criminal Record Centre, Elukwatini Fire Department and SAPS Badplaas pulled the identified truck over and it was escorted back to the station.

The fire department assisted with the opening of the concealed compartment where 250 x 1kg heroin bricks with an estimated street value of R75 million were discovered.

“The drug bust was as a result of Trilateral Planning Cell (TPC) which is a team established by the ministries responsible for policing of the Republics of South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, to counter heroin trafficking through the Southern Route” said the DPCI Head, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.

The drugs which were destined for the international market were coming from Mozambique.

The 49-year-old suspect will appear in the Carolina Magistrates’ court on 19 July 2023, on charges of possession of illegal drugs with intent to distribute.

An investigation is also underway to determine how the truck managed to enter South Africa without being thoroughly checked at the border.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service