Hawks arrest three after finding heroin worth R87.5m hidden in truck

The Richards Bay Serious Organised Investigation members found heroin powder with a street value of about R87.5 million and arrested three suspects on Wednesday.

According to spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo, the Hawks, in collaboration with the Mpumalanga Crime Intelligence Unit, discovered 342.5kg of the drug inside what is believed to be a purpose-built hidden compartment in a truck which was travelling from Mozambique via Swaziland to KwaZulu-Natal.

The truck was intercepted in Hluhluwe and the team immediately started with the search.

Almost 250 packets of heroin were found hidden in a false partition that had been newly painted.

Members had to cut open the compartment in order to access the drugs. The driver and two passengers were arrested and will appear in court soon.

The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has welcomed the arrests and seizure of the drugs.

"It is worrisome to imagine as to how many lives were going to be wasted through addiction and crime triggered by the use of these… substances," said Lebeya.

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