Cops, traffic chief among those arrested in R200m cocaine bust

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Two police officers, a traffic chief and a civilian have been arrested. (@Abramjee via Twitter)
Two police officers, a traffic chief and a civilian have been arrested. (@Abramjee via Twitter)
  • Police have seized a a large haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of R200 million in Johannesburg. 
  • Two police officers, a traffic chief and a civilian have been arrested. 
  • It is alleged that the law enforcement officers helped transport the cocaine from Durban Harbour to Johannesburg. 

Two police officers, a traffic chief and a civilian have been arrested after a large haul of cocaine with an estimated street value of R200 million was allegedly discovered in a police bakkie.

Police on Friday received a complaint of a suspected hijacked cargo truck at Aeroton business premises in Johannesburg.

After responding, police found 23 bags containing cocaine in a parked bakkie on the premises, said Colonel Brenda Muridili.

"Upon interviewing the driver of the bakkie, it was discovered that he is a police warrant officer attached to Zonkezizwe police station and that the bakkie is a state vehicle," Muridili said.

"He was placed under arrest on the scene together with his three accomplices, another police warrant officer attached to National Investigative Unit, a Gauteng chief traffic officer and a civilian."

READ | Massive cocaine haul found in 'animal food' container in KZN

According to police, 552 bricks of cocaine, four vehicles, including a grey BMW, three state vehicles (VW GTI, Kia Cerato and Nissan bakkie), and R60 000 in cash were seized during the bust.

It is alleged that the cargo truck transported the cocaine from Durban Harbour to Johannesburg, escorted by the three state vehicles.

"At the warehouse, suspects removed the consignment from the truck and loaded into the bakkie."

"On duty police officials intercepted the suspects' vehicle as they were about to flee the scene."

The suspects, aged between 35 and 42, are due to appear in the Booysens Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of robbery, dealing in drugs and defeating the ends of justice.

News24 reported that in June, a container was inspected in Isipingo, KwaZulu-Natal, which resulted in the seizure of over 500kg of cocaine.

The search was conducted following a tip-off.

Hawks' spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Philani Nkwalase, at the time said they acted on information regarding a smuggling operation at a container depot in Avenue East.

A container, supposedly carrying animal food, was inspected - and the cocaine haul was discovered in 26 canvas bags, marked with TikTok and Jaguar branding.

READ | Man linked to R400m Gauteng cocaine bust abandons bail bid

"The drugs weighing 541 kilograms, with an estimated value of more than R243 million, were confiscated," said Nkwalase.

On 2 June, the Hawks intercepted a vehicle transporting 800kg of compressed pure cocaine, with an estimated street value of R400 million, which was hidden in a 12-foot ski boat that was being towed by a bakkie on the N1 near Pretoria.

It's understood that the cocaine was being transported from the Western Cape.

Five men, four South Africans and one Lithuanian national was arrested.

A sixth suspect, identified by police as Ahmad Isa, 41, also known as Pardilov Ariel and Micky Paki, who last seen in Camps Bay, Cape Town, managed to give police the slip when they raided his house, News24 reported.

Isa, a suspected drug trafficker, is believed to be armed and dangerous.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Do you think striking Eskom workers should be fired?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes, they must face disciplinary action and possible charges
66% - 1756 votes
No, stop scapegoating underpaid workers for government's mess
12% - 326 votes
Well, firing them won't solve the load shedding crisis
22% - 590 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.