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Cannabis Cargo Theft Warning from Leading Insurer

Cannabis Cargo Theft Warning from Leading Insurer

Hollard Marine Insurance says Cannabis Cargo Hijacked in Cape Town; Warns this May be Start of a Trend

Cannabiz Africa

19 July 2022 at 22:00:00

Cannabis cargo theft is likely to become more prevelant as South Africa's export cannabis industry gets off the ground. The first taste of what may be to come is the disclosure by Hollard Marine Insurance, which "experienced hijacking exposure" recently in Cape Town. That’s according to Marika van Rhyn, Hollard Marine’s senior business development manager.

The most surprising feature of her interview with Business Insider on 19 July 2022, was not so much about cannabis cargo theft, but of the staggering rise in insurance claims for stolen hair extensions which had risen by 37% in the past year. She did not elaborate on any statistics relating to cannabis.

"[With] cannabis there are different kinds of products, broadly raw cannabis and processed cannabis such as CBD oil. When it is in its raw format, when it actually still looks like the plant, that is when it is at highest risk of hijacking,” she said.

The thefts commonly occur as hijacking incidents while in transit to their final destinations or at ports when goods get offloaded after arrival.

"With any risk, overall, there's an entire leg that you follow, broadly from the producer to the buyer. It gets packed and it gets loaded at source and maybe again at a distributor or freight forwarder and once again at the ports. Whenever it stops moving and passes through a new pair of hands there is an increased risk of theft.

"We have certain hotspots in South Africa, distribution centres in the Joburg area specifically. So those are the more common incidents," she said.

Van Rhyn said hair extension theft had overtaken the theft of coal, which was previously regarded as 'black gold'. With the world slowly turning to green and renewable energy, she said the new most prized commodity has become hair extensions, mainly those imported from India and Brazil. She said cargo travelling on the Johannesburg route mostly comes through the Durban port and signals that South Africa's illicit trade market for hair is largely concentrated in Johannesburg.

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