More than R 85 million worth of narcotics was seized at Port Elizabeth Harbour (Ngqura Port) over the weekend, following an intelligence-driven operation that focused on a vessel from Ecuador, South America.
The operation was conducted from intelligence that two containers were suspected of having narcotics on board.
The targeted containers were removed to the container depot and upon opening them it was found that the contents were bananas as described on the bill of lading and that the container was destined for Cape Town.
The cartons of bananas were physically checked and upon inspecting the rear refrigeration unit, a hidden compartment was discovered.
Upon removing some of the panelling, packages wrapped in brown tape were uncovered.
The panelling was totally removed and a total of 40 packages, which tested positive for cocaine, were discovered in both the containers.
Further profiling was conducted and it was discovered that a further two containers were linked to the product type and packaging methodology on the same vessel.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, the sniffer dog reacted positively to the same rear refrigeration panelling as the previous two containers.
A further 45 bricks wrapped in brown packaging tape tested positive for cocaine with an estimated weight of 45 kilograms in both containers.
A total of 85 bricks with an estimated street value of R 85 Million were seized.