R500mn Saldanha Bay cocaine bust may have links to South America

Cocaine valued at over half a billion rand was seized on a fishing vessel on Monday night and four suspects from Bulgaria and another six from Myanmar were arrested.

Police in the Western Cape seized cocaine valued at over R500 million from a fishing vessel on the Saldana coast on 1 March 2021. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

CAPE TOWN - A massive drug bust in Saldanha Bay could be linked to a boom in cocaine production in South America.

Cocaine valued at over half a billion rand was seized on a fishing vessel on Monday night and four suspects from Bulgaria and another six from Myanmar were arrested.

"As far as cocaine is concerned, there is a general increase in trafficking all over. Why? It’s because there is a glut in Latin America, so the supply is there and they are trying to get rid of it. And a lot of it comes through Africa," said senior advisor at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime, Peter Gastrow.

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"The cocaine that reaches our shores is partly for consumption here, but partly in small amounts passed on to other markets that may be amenable in the East, but it's not big stuff, the big ones are in West Africa," said Gastrow.

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