Milo the police dog praised for making drug bust

2017-01-28 07:41
Milo, who sniffed out drugs with an estimated street value of nearly R1 million. (Supplied)

Milo, who sniffed out drugs with an estimated street value of nearly R1 million. (Supplied)

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Mbombela – Milo the police dog was praised for helping sniff out drugs with an estimated street value of nearly R1 million, during a case being heard in the Nelspruit Regional Court.

Sergeant Johannes van der Westhuizen, of the Kaapmuiden police station, told the court this week that the drugs were hidden in the back of an Opel Corsa bakkie driven by Swazi national, Sipho Velekhaya Simelane.

Simelane pleaded not guilty to a charge of possession of drugs when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Van der Westhuizen said the drugs were hidden in a running board at the back of the bakkie, and would have been impossible to find had it not been for Milo.

“Milo scratched vigorously on the footstep, which to me was a clear indication he had found something illegal.”

The drug, later determined to be a substance used for making Mandrax, weighed about 21kg and had an estimated street value of R945 000, Van der Westhuizen told the court.

He received a tip-off from a source on April 30, 2015, about a bakkie transporting drugs from Swaziland to Johannesburg.

The sergeant called for back-up and waited for the bakkie at the Kaapmuiden Toll Plaza. They stopped the driver, identified themselves to him, and asked if they could search the bakkie.

“He showed me his Swaziland passport and said he was coming from there and was headed to Jo’burg. He was shaking and sweating as he walked next to me during the search.”

When officers could not find anything, Milo was brought in.

“After Milo indicated the place at the back of the vehicle, we carefully removed the footstep and discovered 21 plastic bags which contained a brown powder.”

Pieter Naude, for Simelane, said his client would testify that someone in Swaziland gave him the bakkie to drive to Johannesburg.

“He was not aware it was loaded with drugs. He was on his way to Johannesburg for other business but not to smuggle the drugs,” said Naude.

Magistrate Shelly Msibi postponed the case to February 13.

Read more on:    saps  |  mbombela  |  animals

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