R1.3bn worth of cocaine seized at Durban harbour in dawn raid

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


Beitbridge congestion – Travellers tear-gassed by SA police


Zimbabwean Police are set to meet their South African counterparts following an incident in which the South African officers used tear gas to control travellers at their side of the border last Friday morning. The majority of the travellers were Zimbabweans, with others coming from countries north of the Zambezi.

The South African Police Services (SAPS) used tear smoke to control travellers at around 9am as the number of human traffic started increasing at Beitbridge Border Post.

No one was injured in the incident which lasted for about 15 minutes when people started showing their discontent with the slow way they were being cleared by immigration officials from that country.

Some travellers started jumping queues after they had spent between three and four hours waiting to gain passage into South Africa. Police officer commanding Beitbridge district Chief Superintendent Lawrence Chinhengo said yesterday that the incident was a great cause for concern.

“This was a very unfortunate incident. We are not happy with the method our counterparts used to control queues and have since communicated to them that we need to have an urgent bilateral meeting to iron out the issue. There are better ways to manage people rather than the tear smoke. It is of paramount importance that we meet and find better ways to control crowds during this festive season,” he said. Source: Bulawayo24.com

For more insight also read “Zim travellers stranded at border post” on zoutnet.co.za.