Cape Town - A bag filled with what is suspected to be about R9 million worth of cocaine washed up on Mossel Bay’s Hartenbos beach on Christmas Day.
A lifeguard spotted the bundle floating just beyond the surf break at 4.30pm.
“He first thought it was someone in the water,” said Mossel Bay Surf Lifesaving Club chairman Warren Prins, who is also the president of Eden Lifesaving. “When he checked with the binoculars, he saw it was some kind of object.”
The lifeguard went into the water to retrieve it and found a black bag attached to a rope and a “big drum”.
Inside the bag were 25 packets weighing over 1kg each. Police said it seemed to be cocaine.
Police spokeswoman Bernadine Steyn said the packets would be sent to their laboratory in Cape Town to check whether it was cocaine.
If it proved to be the drug, she said, it could have an estimated street value of about R8.75m.
Just how the bag ended up bobbing in the waters at Hartenbos, however, is still a mystery. Asked if they had suspects or clues, Steyn said she could not “divulge information under investigation”.
Prins, for one, had his own suspicions as to how it could have come about that the bag was in the water near the beach. “I think it was probably a drop-off. It could’ve been that the guys got spooked or the currents took it away. Even the slightest of currents could’ve carried it away.”
Prins, who also works in law enforcement, believed it would be difficult to find a suspect that was linked to such an unusual discovery
“It was a big surprise, especially because it was such a big bag that was floating out in the open. The value of it was quite shocking,” he said.
The beach had been busy on Christmas Day and, though the lifeguard team had tried to be subtle about recovering what was later found to be suspected contraband, the incident had drawn quite a bit of attention once the police were called in.