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Check Out Some Of The Biggest 2019 Drug Busts In South Africa


It’s officially the festive season and with that comes police on high alert for any criminal activity, including drug busts worth millions and sometimes even, billions. Here’s some of the biggest drug busts in 2019. 

R85m drug bust in Port Elizabeth 

It appears that there is an overload of drug smuggling taking place in Port Elizabeth, as there was an R85m drug bust just two months ago, according to defenceweb.co.za

In a statement, police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said the operation was conducted from intelligence that two containers suspected carrying narcotics were on board.

“The suspect containers were on board a vessel that docked in Port Elizabeth at Ngqura Port. The team including customs investigations, K9 unit, and SAPS border police was activated and the process initiated to trace and secure the containers,” said Mogale.

R720m drug bust in Port Elizabeth  

In January this year, a drug bust caught the eyes of many South Africans. Cocaine estimated at a whopping R720m was found in a ship in the Port of Ngqura on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, one of South Africa’s busiest ports. 

Hawks Godfrey Lebeya said netted 1kg bags totalling more than 700kg were found stashed below the decks, sealed in the frame of a shipping container under 3 369 other containers.

Lebeya said: “crooks were determined to ensure nobody would detect” the shipment.

South African tries to ship R1.4b worth of drugs to Australia 

According to Business Insider, Australian border police arrested two men in New South Wales in July 2019, seizing 384 kilograms of cocaine in the biggest ever single drug bust in the history of its federal police force.

The stash represents almost half as much as the total of all cocaine detected at Australian borders in 2018.

Police put the street value of the find at the equivalent of R1.4b. The drugs were found welded into a giant, yellow Cat excavator shipped from South Africa. 

R250m drug bust in Kwa-Zulu Natal 

According to The Citizen, two people were arrested in July 2019 at an underground drug lab in rural Harding, KwaZulu-Natal. 

The lab had been manufacturing large quantities of narcotics resembling Mandrax, as well as other paraphernalia. Mandrax and lab equipment valued at nearly R250m was seized.

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