Hunt on for drug syndicate
SOUTH African police are working with Interpol to track down a drug syndicate after 800kg of dagga and hashish, valued at R12.5 million, was seized during a sting at Durban Harbour at the weekend.
The stash, concealed in restitched charcoal bags, was found in a container behind drums of fruit juice and car engine parts.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge attributed the successful thwarting of a “criminal network of hardened criminals” to the joint efforts of the Durban Organised Crime Unit, Crime Intelligence, Port Security Services and the SA Revenue Service.
“Officers from different units with different expertise were involved.”
Two months ago, the police received information that the container, which arrived from Gauteng by truck, was destined for the Netherlands. A search of the container by police between Thursday night and 9.40am on Friday yielded the haul.
It is unknown which vessel would have been used to transport the contraband to Europe.
According to Mdunge, no arrests have been made, but the suspects – whose identities are known to police – are being pursued.
He said that local police were working with Interpol to capture members of the syndicate operating in South Africa and in the Netherlands.
While Mdunge said that mandrax, cocaine and hashish were the chief varieties of contraband which traffickers exported from Durban, dagga was also usually present.