Hawks seize R36m worth of drugs

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretoria - The Hawks seized 1.1 tons of narcotics, with a street value of R36 million, in Tulisa Park, Johannesburg on Saturday.

The seizure was made during a joint operation between the Hawks, SAPS Crime Intelligence and customs officials from the South African Revenue Services.

The narcotics were packaged in fraudulently labelled packs, such as a popular brand of pet food, tobacco and coffee packages, national police spokesperson, Captain Dennis Adriao, said.

It is believed that the consignment of drugs was destined for international markets.

Initial tests conducted at the scene indicated that the drugs were hashish, he added.

"The success of this seizure was attributed to information received from a member of the public and weeks of investigations, which identified the storage facility where the narcotics were being stored. The storage facility ... was part of a freight service that stores consignments and then also dispatches the freight to various parts of the country and overseas," Adriao said.

Police also found a large tortoise, which was identified by the NSPCA Wildlife Unit as a leopard tortoise - an approximately 50-year-old female.

"The tortoise didn't have any food or water and was being kept together with the narcotics consignment. We believe that the tortoise could have been destined for the international markets as well, especially the Asian countries," he added.

No arrests have been made as yet, but the Hawks were still following up information, Adriao said.

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