Johannesburg - Four amounts of what appear to be cocaine, with an estimated street value of about R68 million, have been found off Mossel Bay's beaches since Christmas, Western Cape police said on Thursday.
In the latest haul, a drum containing a black bag with 25 bricks of what appeared to be raw, unprocessed cocaine washed ashore near Mossel Bay between Hartenbos and Klein Brak River on Wednesday afternoon, Captain Malcolm Pojie said.
“A holidaymaker spotted the blue drum with the floating bag and alerted the police.”
On Tuesday, a man standing on his balcony saw a similar blue drum with a bag attached to it floating in the water off the beach in Rheebok, near Mossel Bay.
“The man, who was standing on his balcony, immediately rushed to the beach and retrieved the bag and floating drum,” said Pojie.
“He immediately informed the police, who on arrival discovered 25 bricks of what seemed to be clean cocaine which weighed approximately 1kg each.”
If it was cocaine, in its refined form the estimated street value of each brick within the two drums was around R1m, or R25m in total.
The powder would be sent to the police's forensic laboratory for tests.
Captain Bernadine Steyn said the third amount was found after a swimmer contacted Mossel Bay police on Saturday around 9am informing them that a blue object was floating in the sea near Pinnacle Point.
“On arrival we found a blue drum and a black bag attached to each other with a rope. In the black bag 25 packets of what seems to be cocaine were found,” she said.
Each packet weighed just over a kilogram, and the 25 packets had an estimated street value of R8.75m.
A fourth haul was found floating in the water off Hartenbos Beach on Christmas Day. It also consisted of 25 packets of cocaine, also worth an estimated R8.75m on the street.
Pojie said the values of the hauls differed because some of the cocaine appeared to have already been “cut”, or processed, while the rest was still in its pure, or raw form. - Sapa