Guarding the gateway

Hardly a month passes, it seems, without police confiscating another huge drug consignment worth millions of rands at the O R Tambo International Airport.

Hardly a month passes, it seems, without police confiscating another huge drug consignment worth millions of rands at the O R Tambo International Airport.

In the past few days, police seized R80million worth of cocaine in two separate stings.

That they intercepted so much drugs on their insidious way to the country's streets, is cause for both relief and concern at the same time.

Relief because tight security at the airport appears to be making it more difficult for drug-traffickers to infiltrate their consignments into the country.

But of serious concern is the frequency of the busts, which suggests international syndicates remain unbowed in targeting the airport as a port of entry for their contraband.

More seriously, the syndicates might well be stage-managing the seizures - as part of subterfuge or false-flagging - to divert attention from greater consignments simultaneously infiltrated through the airport or elsewhere.

This is a well-known ruse used by international drug rings worldwide with some success.

Evidently, South Africa has increasingly become an important gateway for syndicates to traffic their contraband into the continent or the southern hemisphere.

We can only hope that, once in their custody, police do not allow these consignments to slip through their fingers.

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