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Trucker busted for smuggling R223 million worth of erectile dysfunction tablets at Lebombo border

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South African National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers have seized a massive R223 million haul of erectile dysfunction tablets being smuggled into South Africa from Mozambique.

Major Lerato Endrew Maluleka from Joint Operations Tactical Headquarters Mpumalanga reports that the bust was made on 17 October by the Bravo Company of 15 South African Infantry Battalion. The Battalion is currently deployed under Joint Tactical Headquarters Mpumalanga as part of the border safeguarding Operation Corona.

Maluleka revealed that a cargo truck travelling from Mozambique into South Africa through the Lebombo Port of Entry was intercepted in an intelligence-driven operation. On searching the vehicle, soldiers initially found it to be transporting maize bran, but further investigation revealed 107 boxes containing Cobra 120 and Cobra 200 erectile dysfunction tablets (these contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra).

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“The total number of tablets confiscated was valued to be worth R223 020 000 by the SA Police Service. The driver was then arrested and the truck was also confiscated,” the SANDF said.

Read also: SA man, 2 Zim men arrested for allegedly smuggling vehicles worth R2m into Zimbabwe

erectile dysfunction tablets
R223 million worth of erectile dysfunction tablets found in truck. Photo supplied

It added that the success came after two days of patience and determination as the cargo truck was held in a queue to be processed and approved to cross over to South Africa through the Lebombo Port of Entry.

“It is evident that military intelligence-driven operations are to be prioritised in curbing illegal activities within our territorial borders. The South African National Defence Force will keep fighting these cross-border crimes that deteriorate the economy of South Africa,” Maluleka concluded.

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The massive illicit medication haul will provide a huge boost to the third quarter border success figures. According to Joint Operations statistics, for the second quarter of 2022 (July to September), SANDF soldiers on border protection duty apprehended 3 730 undocumented persons, confiscated R12.5 million worth of contraband goods (alcohol, cigarettes, counterfeit clothing etc.), R5 million worth of drugs, 15 weapons, 484 stolen head of livestock and 66 stolen vehicles. One hundred and twenty-two criminals were arrested.

This compares with first quarter (April to June 2022) statistics of 5 794 undocumented persons apprehended, R5.5 million worth of contraband goods confiscated, R6 million worth of drugs confiscated, 18 weapons seized, 1 007 head of livestock recovered, 42 stolen vehicles recovered, and 174 criminals arrested. – Defenceweb

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