Durban - An alleged cross border drug trafficker whose stash was uncovered inside a spare car tyre at the KwaZulu-Natal border with Mozambique was remanded into police custody.
The drugs had an estimated street value of more than R2 million.
It is alleged that on Tuesday at 12:30, police officers from the Pongola police station acted on intelligence information with regards to a vehicle transporting drugs from Mozambique through the border into South Africa.
Brigadier Jay Naicker, a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, said police officers were dispatched along the route and spotted the vehicle travelling on the N2 freeway.
"The vehicle was intercepted by police officers and a search was conducted. During the search police found 15 KG of suspected heroine hidden in the vehicles spare wheel. The street value of the drugs is estimated at R 2.7 million. A 40-year-old suspect was placed under arrest for possession of drugs,"Naicker said.
A case of possession of drugs was opened at Pongola SAPS and transferred to the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI-Hawks) for further investigation.
“The recovery of such a huge consignment of drugs is commended. This was a major breakthrough for the province and demonstrates the determination of our police officers to stem cross border crimes during this festive season,” said the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula.
Spokesperson for the HAWKS -DPCI Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said Soares Alfredo, 40, briefly appeared in the Pongola Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday facing charges of dealing and possession in drugs.
A joint operation between the Hawks’ Richards Bay Serious Organised Crime unit, Pretoria Crime Intelligence, Jozini and Pongola police members led to the arrest of Alfredo after they intercepted his vehicle. The drugs were destined for the Gauteng province.
"A thorough search of the vehicle revealed four bags of crystal methamphetamine (Tik) with a street value of approximately R2.7 million concealed in a spare wheel. Alfredo was remanded in custody and he will appear again on 11 December 2019 for legal representation,"Mhlongo said.