THE South African Police Service's swift reaction paid off when they smashed an international drug syndicate operating from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and seized drugs worth R500million.
The police said they believed the drugs were destined for the British Isles. Three men have been arrested.
The first man was arrested on Friday, followed by more arrests on Sunday and yesterday.
The arrests in South Africa come in the wake of similar arrests in London last week linked to the same syndicate.
About 165kg of heroin concealed in curios was seized on a flight from South Africa at Heathrow Airport.
Another 100kg of drugs was confiscated at a warehouse, also in the United Kingdom.
"International cooperation is crucial in the fight against drugs and drug trafficking," said Deputy National Commissioner Anwa Dramat.
"Clearly in this case the value of the information that we received from our British counterparts enabled us to move quickly and decisively.
"Our police have been working on cracking this and other syndicates and the hard work of our members is paying off. We expect to make more arrests soon," Dramat said.
National head of the organised crime unit Senior Superintendent Devin Naicker said information from OR Tambo international airport linked the drugs to a battery company in Glen Anil, KwaZulu-Natal.
Five warehouses were searched and two men were arrested. Seventy eight batteries were found, each containing about 17grams of drugs. The drugs were a mixture of hashish and cocaine.
The two suspects gave police information that led to the arrest of three other people in Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Verulam magistrate's court tomorrow.