Gauteng police destroyed drugs worth R800 million during an operation in Johannesburg on Thursday.
SANews reports that the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola, presided over the destruction of drugs, which included cocaine, heroin, mandrax, and marijuana.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said this is the third drug destruction process in this financial year, with the most recent destruction in Cape Town in September.
“In the 2022/2023 financial year, 20.8 of tons of drugs with a street value of 2 billion rand was also destroyed,” Mathe said.
Mathe noted that the drugs destroyed were linked to several high-profile cases, including the Maydon Wharf case, where more than one tonne of cocaine worth a street value of R400 million was seized.
“This drug bust happened in August 2022 when Ebrahim Kara, Elias Radebe, and Meshack Ngobese were arrested in Cape Town after police stopped a truck transporting more than 600 blocks of cocaine, and the drugs were in false wooden boards.
“This matter was finalised, and Kara was handed down an eight-year sentence while Radebe and Ngobese were handed down one year and six years imprisonment sentences respectively,” Mathe said.
She added that 1.3 tons of illegal pharmaceutical drugs/medicines in tablets and capsules, including non-registered Viagra, were confiscated in operations throughout the country.
Mathe also noted that all drugs confiscated by SAPS during operations are subjected to forensic testing regularly by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory: Chemistry Section.
“These drug exhibit materials that were destroyed today were done so after a thorough process which followed the conclusion of a court order, confirming the finalisation of cases. It is also worth noting that all drugs exhibit materials that were destructed were audited to ensure compliance with the set standard,” Mathe explained.
Masemola said through the organisation’s high-density operations, police are making inroads in clamping down on the drug trade in the country and beyond.
He said it is also encouraging that through Operation Shanela, police officers arrested 15,400 suspects for having drugs to date, with another 7,000 arrested for drug dealing.
“The recent drug confiscation of R150 million [worth] of cocaine in KwaZulu-Natal also illustrates the cooperation between law enforcement agencies across the world in clamping down on transnational organised crime. Indeed, our intelligence structures are hard at work in preventing and putting a stop to the drug trade in the country and beyond.
“This is also a clear demonstration that all stakeholders involved in border security are working together to tighten the control measures of cargo entering and departing our country,” said the Commissioner.
Picture: X / SAPoliceService
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