Police rescue tortoise during R36m hashish bust

The Star


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NSPCA National Inspector Wendy Willson from the Wild Life Unit and Constable Deon Bothma of our West Rand K9 Unit next to the rescued tortoise, which has affectionately been called by everybody on the scene as Nonhlanhla (which means lucky). Picture: Handout/Suppliedthe 1.1 tons of narcotics that has been identified as Hashish, with a street value of R36 Million . Members of the SAPS Gauteng TRT and the West Rand K9 Unit are seen here with the drugs. 270512 Picture: Handout/Supplied

hashish worth R36 million was recovered and a 50-year-old tortoise rescued at the weekend when police raided a storage facility in southern Joburg.

According to police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao, information provided had led members of the Hawks, criminal intelligence and customs to the warehouses of a freight service company in Tulisa Park on Saturday afternoon.

There, they uncovered 1.1 tons of hashish, believed to be destined for international markets.

“From our investigations, we believe it came into South Africa from various international destinations and was destined for international markets,” said Adriao. “We seized it before it could be dispatched.”

Also in the warehouse was a 50-year-old tortoise, believed to be from the East Coast, penned in among the drugs, with neither water nor food.

Police rescued her and named her Nonhlanhla, meaning “lucky girl”. She had been given to the SPCA “in hopes that she doesn’t land up in a soup dish in Asia”, Adriao said.

But despite the size of the haul, no arrests were made.

“The Hawks are still busy with their investigations, but we anticipate the possibility of arrests in the future,” Adriao said.

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