File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Johannesburg - The Hawks have nabbed a man with 40kg of heroin worth nearly R50 million in the back of his car.

Acting on intelligence, the priority crimes unit of the SAPS swooped on a 42-year-old man sitting in his sedan at a residential complex in Crown Gardens, southern Joburg, on Sunday night and found the payload.

“It was ready for delivery at an unknown location,” said Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko.

Ramaloko said the drugs were in the boot packaged in individual 1kg sachets, with an estimated street value of R48m.

Earlier reports said the bust had happened at a house in Booysens.

The Hawks suspect he is part of an international syndicate. The drugs, said Ramaloko, could not be linked to any local laboratories.

“Heroin is the main ingredient in nyaope and nyaope is ravaging our youth,” Ramaloko said.

The man is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

Peter Ucko, who serves on the executive committee of the Central Drug Authority, said he was “delighted” with the bust.

“Just think about the harm it could have done,” he said.

He said the bust could equate to 40 000 hits of nyaope – a drug cocktail that uses about 1g of heroin per hit.

“We don’t have detailed statistics, but it’s mostly kids using it,” said Ucko.

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The Star