South Africa: Cele Commends R400 Million Cocaine Bust

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has commended the recent arrest of three men for the possession of a cocaine consignment valued at R400 million in the Western Cape.

The three were arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), together with Crime Intelligence and Western Cape Traffic, while they were travelling on the N1 towards Cape Town.

Ministry spokesperson, Lirandzu Themba, said the consignment was in a truck that was intercepted and large quantities of drugs were found concealed in false wooden boards, stacked at the back of the truck.

Cele, together with Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile, on Monday attended the first court appearance of the three men, aged between 39 and 47, at the Athlone Magistrate Court.

Cele said the drug bust will mean more crimes associated with drugs are prevented.

“Police are often accused of being reactive and clearly this is a demonstration that police are tightening crime prevention and are being proactive. The Western Cape police have really done a great job in terms of removing over 600kg of cocaine, worth millions of rands, before they could be sold on our streets. These drugs are often generators of crime and are most detrimental to our communities, especially to our youth,” he said.

The Police Ministry welcomed the continuous, targeted operations led by crime intelligence and the Hawks in the province to disrupt the whole illicit drug supply chain.

“Communities are encouraged to continue to come forward with information that can assist police investigations,” said Themba.