Customs officers of the SA Revenue Service and the SA Police Service (SAPS) seized some R1.3 billion worth of cocaine in an early morning raid on a container ship at the Durban harbour, SARS said in a statement on Friday morning.
The 300kg of cocaine was found in one of the containers aboard the ship. It was detected after a week-long intelligence operation led by the SARS National Targeting Unit.
“The SARS Marine unit, Durban Operations, South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Intelligence and National Detective Services boarded the vessel heading from South America to secure several containers that were profiled by SARS,” SARS said.
The containers were inspected after they were unloaded in the Durban harbour, which revealed zinc metal products and several black bags containing 378 bricks of pure cocaine.
The illicit cargo and what appeared to be cellular tracking devices were handed over to SAPS for further investigation, SARS added.
SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter said it there was a commitment to “fight the scourge of narcotics entering the country and destroying the lives of its users, especially the youth.”
“SARS will not tolerate these illegal activities but will rather continue to fulfil its mandate of facilitating legal trade to further economic development of our country,” he added.
Source: New24, Marelise van der Merwe dated 24 February 2023