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Truck driver arrested in R500k drug bust

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Khat with an estimated street value of over R500,000 was seized from a truck on the N12 during a crime intelligence-driven operation between the Northern Cape and Western Cape SAPS.

Khat with an estimated street value of over R500,000 was seized from a truck on the N12 during a police operation. Pictures: Supplied

KHAT with an estimated street value of over R500,000 was seized from a truck on the N12 during a crime intelligence-driven operation between the Northern Cape and Western Cape SAPS.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Captain Olebogeng Tawana said the office of the SAPS Crime Intelligence Counter Narcotics in Kimberley acted on a tip-off regarding a truck that was transporting drugs from Gauteng to Cape Town via Kimberley between July 11-12.

“The Frances Baard district task team spotted the truck on the N12 near Warrenton. The team, with the back-up of the Kimberley Flying Squad, stopped and searched the truck at a nearby filling station in Warrenton. The team found six boxes filled with a total of 145 plants of khat inside the truck,” said Tawana.

He added that a 44-year-old truck driver, who is a foreign national, was arrested on a charge of dealing in drugs.

“During questioning he informed the team that the consignment was meant to be delivered in Cape Town. The boxes were branded with the names of the end-receivers in Cape Town.”

Tawana said the Northern Cape, Frances Baard task team, with the assistance of the Western Cape team, escorted the truck from Warrenton to “deliver” the khat in Cape Town on July 13.

“The recipients were contacted to collect their delivery at the N1 1-Stop filling station near Kraaifontein. The recipients fled the scene in a Chevrolet Spark after receivnig the delivery.”

Tawana said a high-speed car chase ensued, whereupon the suspects abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot.

“One suspect was later arrested on charges of dealing in drugs, He was also charged for attempted murder and malicious damage to property as he was driving recklessly during the high-speed chase, where he swerved into a police vehicle and damaged it in the process. He is expected to appear in the Belville Magistrate’s Court soon. Another suspect is still at large. The suspects are foreign nationals.”

The Northern Cape acting provincial commissioner, Major-General Kolisa Otola, commended the Northern Cape and Western Cape teams for the swift arrest of the suspects.

Picture: Supplied
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