Cocaine trade still flies high

The weekend bust which netted cocaine worth R60million at OR Tambo International Airport confirms - once again - that South Africa has become a profitable destination for drug traffickers.

The weekend bust which netted cocaine worth R60million at OR Tambo International Airport confirms - once again - that South Africa has become a profitable destination for drug traffickers.

It also underlines the daring of international drug syndicates and the constant honing of their smuggling methods to avoid detection at airports and harbours. This obviously calls for authorities to always be a step ahead of the syndicates - as demonstrated at the weekend when police intercepted three boxes marked "engine parts" that contained cocaine worth R60million.

Still the bust capped police successes achieved between 2005 and last year when they netted drugs worth hundreds of millions at the airport.

Will the latest sting see the end of smuggling at the airport? A definite no. We can expect traffickers to be more cunning as they test its security with bribery or by employing subterfuge.

Using subterfuge syndicates sacrifice smaller quantities of drugs for detection by security personnel to distract them from bigger batches slipped through at the same time. This begs the question whether the weekend's R60million bust was not a decoy for a larger consignment.

While this dimension might temper our euphoria over the latest bust, we hope the police will not drop their guard in their fight against drugs.

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