Borderline patrol to boost anti-trafficking measures

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pretoria - The South African security forces, in conjunction with other government departments, have launched a maritime borderline patrol of the South African East Coast from Cape Agulhas to Kosi Bay.

The operation will focus on locating, stopping and searching vessels and crews and if necessary, seize vessels transgressing South African law.

"The main focus will be the search for drug trafficking, smuggling of humans, weapons and counterfeit goods and fishery transgressions.

"The South African Navy frigate, the SAS AMATOLA, sailed from Simon's Town accompanied by the Marine and Coastal Management's fisheries protection vessel, the Lilian Ngoyi," the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) said in a statement.

Various members of the South African Police Service and members of the intelligence agencies, as well as customs officials from the South African Revenue Service, representatives of the Departments of Home Affairs and Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries are on board the SAS AMATOLA with the S A Navy crew in this inter-departmental law enforcement project.

A South African Air Force Lynx helicopter is lending aerial assistance in locating and identifying vessels to board.

Boardings will be conducted mainly on vessels up to and including 500 tonnes which includes coasters, fishing vessels, yachts and leisure craft.

During the trip, the vessels will visit the ports of East London, Port Elizabeth and Durban. The SAS UMZIMKULU, a Navy mine counter-measures vessel, will join the operation in Durban.