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Interpol: SA seen as a gateway to export drugs due to 'good infrastructure'

Interpol’s head of organised crime Paul Stanfield said South Africa had become a consumer, a producer and a distributor of drugs.

FILE: Packaged drugs found on a plot in Middelburg by the Hawks during a raid in Mpumalanga. Picture: SAPoliceService/Facebook

CAPE TOWN - Drug traffickers see South Africa as a good investment destination much like some legitimate businesses do, according to Interpol.

The Interpol Global Conference on the Illicit Drug Trade got under way in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Interpol’s head of organised crime Paul Stanfield said South Africa’s drug problems were no different to the challenges in European countries.

He said the nation is seen as a gateway to export drugs to high market countries.

“If you look at the geography for where South Africa is located, it’s a spot for drugs coming from Afghanistan to Europe. It’s also because South Africa has the infrastructure. It’s a global leader in terms of shipping and industry, and criminals seize these opportunities like normal businesses.”

Stanfield said South Africa had become a consumer, a producer and a distributor of drugs.

He said the country’s good infrastructure and developed economy had both negatives and positives.

Earlier this month, police found drugs worth R85 million drugs in the Eastern Cape. The cocaine was found inside a container loaded with bananas. The container was found hidden on a ship and that had docked at the port of Ngqura.

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