Cops run down tortoise and hash
Police discovered more than a ton of hashish (an extract of dagga) with a street value of R36-million - and a totally innocent 50-year-old tortoise - in a storage facility south of Johannesburg, yesterday.
National police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao said the police, working with the Hawks and Crime Intelligence, discovered crates of hashish destined for export in the storage facility on Saturday.
The tortoise was found, without food and water, between the crates, he said.
The animal has been handed to the wildlife unit of the SPCA, he said.
"The tortoise is a female leopard tortoise, probably from somewhere on the east coast of Africa," Adriao said.
"She was showing signs of distress, which is inevitable considering what she has been through, but she has been fed and watered, and will be X-rayed by a vet [today]," he said.
Adriao said creatures such as tortoises were often smuggled to Asian countries where they were eaten.
The hashish was hidden in pet food bags, and tobacco and tomato sauce packaging.
Sniffer dogs found the drugs.
"Criminals think that by hiding drugs in pet food packaging we will pass over it, thinking the sniffer dogs have been distracted by the smell.
"But our dogs are not that stupid!" Adriao said.
"No arrests have been made but the Hawks are working on it."