WATCH: Police find R70 million worth of cocaine hidden in paint containers at Durban Harbour

Published Oct 19, 2023


A month-long intelligence-driven operation by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) resulted in a R70 million cocaine drug bust at the Durban Harbour on Wednesday.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said police have been monitoring and keeping surveillance on a vessel that was making its way to South Africa from Brazil.

“Prior to the vessel arriving at the Port of Durban, members intercepted the identified vessel and mobilised various units and resources to conduct a search and seize operation on the identified containers.”

Mathe said on Wednesday, a multidisciplinary operation was conducted and 20-litre paint containers were seized.

“Inside, police found 200 blocks of cocaine worth R70 million.”

National Police Minister Bheki Cele, who is in KwaZulu-Natal, visited the crime scene and commended police on the bust.

“We will continue to stamp the authority of the State, we are strengthening our response and our strategy in dealing with these syndicates”, said Minister Cele.

The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, says the National Safer Festive Season Operations are gaining momentum.

“Well done to the team for intercepting these drugs that were hidden in paint. The investigation will focus on the origin and destination of the drugs to ensure we effect arrests.”

Masemola said this was only the beginning of the SAPS’s safer festive operations.

“Just last week, we confiscated R75 million worth of counterfeit goods in Cape Town.

“We will continue to intercept these illicit activities throughout the country.”

IOL News