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2023/10/19      |  Written By:  Brigadier A Mathe   |   Province:  Kwazulu-Natal

Durban: 18 October 2023 - An intelligence driven operation led by members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Durban Harbour and members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation(DPCI)  in KwaZulu-Natal has led to a drug bust of cocaine worth R70 million. For the past month, SAPS Durban harbour members 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. Today, a multidisciplinary operation was conducted and 20 litre paint containers were seized. Inside, police found 200 blocks of cocaine worth R70 million.

The management of the SAPS, led by the Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele commended the meticulous investigative work at play. “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. This is only the beginning of our 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. We are heightening and intensifying our fight against crime especially, organised crime syndicates. This particular investigation will focus on the origin and destination of the drugs to ensure we effect arrests”, said General Fannie Masemola.

Earlier during the day, the delegation  led by Minister Cele visited the families of Warrant Officer Sthembiso Mazibuko . The member was shot and killed during an operation in Ntuzuma yesterday. He had 17 years’ service and was attached to the National Intervention Unit(NIU). The delegation also proceeded to visit the member who was injured in the same operation in hospital where management wished him a speedy recovery. The funeral details of our fallen heroes will be announced in due course.