Drug Bust: Hawks Release Photo Of ‘Mastermind’

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) is asking the public to help locate a foreign national believed to be the mastermind of a massive illicit cocaine shipment.

South Africa’s elite crime busters said half a billion rand worth of cocaine was seized at Durban Harbour on 30 July 2021.

WANTED: Alleged Mastermind

The Hawks have released a photo of the alleged “mastermind” and are asking the public to help locate him. The suspect has not been named.

A team made up of SA Narcotic Enforcement Bureau Hawks members from Gauteng, and Durban, KwaZulu-Natal units, carried out the latest drug bust.

Acting on information the Hawks team zeroed in on a container at Durban Habour.

The container was reported to be containing truck parts destined for SCANIA South Africa.

Before that could happen, the Hawks swooped and searched the container.

They found several black canvas bags placed near the entrance of the container.

Upon further investigation, it was established that the container was packed with cocaine bricks stashed in black canvas bags.

According to the information the drugs were supposed to be removed from the container clandestinely and the container-seal replaced.

The Hawks recovered a duplicate container-seal. Truck cabs destined for the consignee (SCANIA SA) were also found in the container.

The Hawks said 999 bricks of cocaine weighing 1 000 kgs with a street value of R500 million were seized.

No arrests have been made at this stage and investigations are continuing.

Since March more than four tons of cocaine have been seized in South Africa.

The Hawks said most of these drugs would have been destined for other countries.

“At least 20% would have remained behind as payment to the traffickers and consumption in South Africa,” said the Hawks.

“This case is believed to be linked to a similar drug seizure on 9 July 2021 of 715 kgs in Aeroton, JHB, Gauteng coming from Durban Port, also disguised as SCANIA truck parts.

“During the seizure of the said consignment, four suspects were arrested. Investigations have revealed that the origin of all of these consignments is the Port of Santos in Brazil.”

The Hawks said two more seizures were executed at a Depo in Isipingo, Durban. They carried out an even larger seizure in Gauteng, where four suspects were arrested.

A foreign national is believed to be the mastermind behind some of these crimes.