Monday, September 9, 2019 11:28 pm
Forget the obstreperous homilies delivered by many in positions of authority in South Africa in the wake of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country. South Africa too has criminals in truck loads.
However, this is not to hold brief for those engaged in illegalities outside Nigeria. It is just to show that every country has its good and bad elements.
Read below the story of two South Africans, a man and a woman, and others apprehended by cops in foreign lands for trafficking in cocaine.
$34M Cocaine Haul! South African Nabbed in Sydney
From the outside it was just a delivery of wooden furniture. But when a shipping container carrying four wooden crates was targeted on its arrival at Sydney’s Botany terminal earlier this month, an X-ray examination revealed 61 packages of cocaine, each stamped with the face of Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara.
It was this haul, worth around $34 million, that South African national Paul Shannon Finlayson, according to Sydney Morning Herald, flew to Sydney to receive, when he arrived on Monday evening, police allege.
On 24 April, 2019 the 45-year-old was in police custody, having been arrested as the main target in a joint operation by the Australian Border Force and the NSW Organised Crime Squad.
Facing a potential sentence of life in prison, Mr Finlayson has been charged with allegedly importing and possessing a large commercial quantity of a border controlled drug.
Meanwhile investigators have confirmed his arrest has netted new evidence of a criminal group importing drugs into Australia from South Africa.
On Tuesday Mr Finlayson, from Edenvale, near Johannesburg, was refused bail, to appear before Campbelltown Local Court on Friday.
He first came into the sights of NSW investigators after the shipment of concealed cocaine arrived in Sydney on April 8.
The consignment was headed for a commercial factory site in Campbelltown, addressed to Prima Bella Australia Pty Ltd, of which Mr Finlayson is the sole director and secretary.
The shipment was made up of four crates packed with wooden furniture, one of which was custom-built to allow for a space, where the 68 kilograms of cocaine was packed.
Once the drugs were detected an investigation was launched by the Organised Crime Squad and the shipment was sent on to its intended delivery address, under surveillance.
Investigators then watched on after Mr Finlayson arrived in Sydney on Monday night and headed to the Campbelltown address, deconstructing the crate to retrieve the drugs.
“By the time he was arrested I think he was aware … something was wrong, and [he] tried to leave,” said organised crime Detective Chief Inspector Damian Beaufils.
Read the remaining part in Herald
South African Woman Held Over Cocaine Importation to South Africa
A 36-year-old South African woman was, on 31 July 2019, also arrested after she was found allegedly trying to smuggle liquid cocaine into South Africa this past weekend.
According to the South African Police Service, the woman had arrived at the King Shaka International Airport on an Emirates airline from Dubai on Saturday.
“Members of the South African Police Service and Customs and Excise, acting on intelligence, searched the woman’s luggage and found liquid cocaine with an estimated street value of R4 million concealed, according to TheCitizen, in name brand shampoo bottles,” said the SAPS in a statement.
She was arrested and charged with dealing and possession of drugs. She appeared at the Verulam Magistrates’ Court on Monday and has been remanded in custody until August 6 for a formal bail application.
In another incident, two men were arrested by Australian authorities in what they called the “largest-ever drug interception operation” after seizing 384 kilograms of cocaine two weeks ago.
In a joint operation, Australian Border Force (ABF), ACT Policing, NSW Police Force and Australian Federal Police seized a yellow Cat excavator which had allegedly arrived from South Africa after “anomalies” were identified in an X-ray image at the Sydney Container Examination Facility last month.
Read more in TheCitizen