A POLICE operation across three Cape provinces netted almost R5-million in drugs and stolen goods in less than a week.
This resulted in the arrest of 228 people at provincial border checkpoints and exit routes.
The operation, which brought together police from the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Northern Cape, was carried out from September 16 to Sunday.
One of the largest efforts of its kind, the crackdown was assisted by provincial and municipal traffic departments, SA Revenue Service, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Nature Conservation, Home Affairs (immigration officers), health inspectors, Eskom, Telkom and Transnet.
In one of the more surprising finds, police on the road to Aberdeen pulled over a Toyota bakkie that was en route to Cape Town from the Eastern Cape.
The vehicle was carrying bags of dagga in plastic bags taped to the underside of the vehicle.
The dagga was estimated to be worth about R280000. The men, aged 25, 32 and 37, all came from Philippi near Cape Town.
Southern Cape police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie praised the operation.
"Our mission with these integrated operations remains to effectively address and prevent priority crimes in order to ensure the safety of both our rural and urban communities by means of high visibility patrols and deployments," he said.
Of the 288 arrests, 34 were for drug-related offences, while the others were made for a range of offences, including possession of stolen goods from burglaries."A total of 127 fines to the amount of R62200 were issued for traffic violations and other moving offences," Pojie said.
In another significant bust, a car pulled over by police near Beaufort West was carrying boxes filled with 2660 bundles of khat, valued at R133000.
After a 29-year-old man was questioned, a sting operation was held in Bellville in Cape Town, which led to the arrest of a man who was to be the recipient of the consignment.