The operation took place over a period of 12 days and the cocaine was seized on 7 January, according to data provided by African News Agency.

The drug was packed into one kilogram bags, under more than 3,369 containers, on the bottom floor of an unidentified 30-level container ship. The ship was coming from Brazil and was to dock in Singapore before reaching its final destination in India.

As the alleged crime involved more than one country it falls under transnational organised crime, deploying authorities in Brazil, India and Singapore.

The value of the cocaine could have built an entire village, National Head of the Hawks, Advocate Godfrey Lebeya, was quoted as saying.

The Directorate of Priority Crime (Hawks) undertook the operation, with assistance from Interpol both locally and internationally. Other role players included SAPS, crime intelligence, border police, customs, Coega Port Management, Criminal Records and the Darkwater Ops K9 Unit.

No arrests have been made, as the authorities suggest the cartel is in Brazil, where they loaded the illicit cargo, Lebeya informed. However, about 60 containers carrying the drug were confiscated.