96 cocaine blocks seized at harbour

2014-10-03 00:00

A POLICE operation inside the Durban Harbour led to the recovery of nearly 100 kg of cocaine believed to have been smuggled in from South America.

The cocaine has a street value of R29 million and had been concealed in a container.

Police are expected to question, among others, the importer of the container that contained a shipment of aerosol dispensers from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

While no arrests have yet been made the Singapore-owned ship Cap-san-tainaro, in which the drugs were found, yesterday set sail for Malaysia’s Port Klang.

Sources revealed that Hawks and customs officials swooped on the ship after they had received a “tip- off” and that the investigation was at a “sensitive stage”.

According to a police statement, the cocaine, which was positively identified by the forensic team of the SAPS, was found packed in boxes next to the door of the container.

There were 95 blocks, each weighing a kilogram, concealed in boxes and tog bags.

Shipping data for the Cap-san-tainaro showed that after leaving Bueno Aires the ship made two stops in Brazil, first in Rio Grande and then Santos.

Previously The Witness revealed that, according to KZN Department of Community Safety and Liaison, that “most drugs” were “smuggled through Durban Harbour”.

The exporter of the dispensary equipment Coster — a transnational company with offices throughout the world including Bueno Aires, was asked if they were aware of the bust and to whom they were exporting the goods. Their head office in Italy had not responded by the time of going to press.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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