Drug king-pin caught with R1.5 million worth of heroin hidden in car engine
South Africa’s border control officers have arrested a 51-year-old truck driver at the Lebombo border after a large cache of heroin was found hidden in his vehicle’s engine compartment.
The truck was also found to be loaded with cigarettes after routine searches conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and customs agents from the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
The suspected heroin drug mule appeared in the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on 12 June after being arrested earlier in the week.
“A 51-year-old suspect is expected to appear before the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court tomorrow following his arrest on, Wednesday 10 June 2020, at Lebombo Border Post for possession of suspected heroin worth an estimated value of R1.5 million, hidden in the engine compartment of the truck he was driving,” said SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi
The arrest came when members of both South African Police Service and the South African Revenue Services (Customs) were conducting a multidisciplinary operation at the border as part of their normal duties when a white truck from Mozambique, made a stop at the border awaiting to be processed.
“Upon noticing the truck, both formations (SAPS and SARS) conducted a routine search as per their responsibilities and discovered a makeshift compartment in the truck’s engine, stashed with suspected drugs as well as illicit cigarettes,” Brigadier Hlathi added.
Preliminary probe suggests that the driver was planning to smuggle the drugs as well as the illicit cigarettes from Mozambique into the country before being intercepted by the said diligent formations.
“A similar incident occurred last month 25 May 2020, where a man and a woman were arrested for also attempting to smuggle drugs from Mozambique into the country using a similar method but were swiftly arrested.”
The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma commended the work of members posted at the border.
“I would also like to appreciate the work done by the members which resulted in the arrest of this man and others in previous incidents, their work does not go unnoticed,” said General Zuma.
The General has also sent out a stern warning to those who are thinking or planning on smuggling drugs as well as illicit cigarettes, that law enforcement agencies are hard at work and will ensure that no illegal goods go through our borders.
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