South African Hawks in drugs bust
Three British men have appeared in a court in South Africa in connection with what is believed be the biggest drug seizure in the country
South Africa's new serious and organised crimes unit, the Hawks, seized $70m (£42m) worth of cannabis and heroin in Durban over the weekend.
The drugs, which police believe were destined for the UK, were confiscated after a tip off from British police.
The Britons and two South Africans have been charged with trafficking.
Two brothers - Paul and Jon Beazley - Paul Bromley and the two, as yet unnamed, South Africans will appear in court on 21 September.
Last week, more than 150kg of heroin was intercepted at London's Heathrow International Airport after arriving on a flight from South Africa.
One man was subsequently arrested - and the trail lead back to South Africa and to the coastal city of Durban where 8,000kg of cannabis and 115kg of heroin were found in a warehouse.
The newly formed Hawks said the London and Durban drugs consignments are believed to belong to the same syndicate.
According to the South African Broadcasting Corporation, the drug run began in Afghanistan - consignments were then shipped to Mozambique for repackaging.
Durban harbour was the next destination, where the drugs were concealed and repackaged to be sent to OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.
After the arrests, South Africa's police said international co-operation was crucial in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking.
"Clearly in this case the value of the information that we received from our British counterparts enabled us to move quickly and decisively," Deputy National Police Commissioner Anwa Dramat said in a statement.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 16:58 UK