Cocaine bust at OR Tambo

Monday, June 20, 2016

Pretoria - Two suspects, who were found to have swallowed 91 cocaine bullets, have been arrested after disembarking at OR Tambo International Airport, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

In a statement on Monday, the revenue service said the two suspects had disembarked a flight from Sao Paulo on Wednesday and were stopped by officials.

“The passengers had been stopped, as one of them had been identified as a possible drug mule through SARS’ risk engines, while the second passenger displayed suspicious behaviour,” said the revenue service.

The passengers were taken to a hospital for body X-rays, which showed that the first passenger had 58 foreign objects inside the abdomen while the other had 41.

Altogether 91 cocaine bullets, weighing approximately 1.4 kg, were identified.

“The two suspects were arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and placed under medical surveillance for release of the bullets,” said SARS.

In a separate incident on Sunday, SARS Customs officials intercepted a passenger with a backpack containing 16kg of ephedrine worth R4 837 380.

The passenger, who had disembarked a flight from Kenya, attempted to rush past the Customs officials. After dog detectors reacted to the bag, a further full inspection and scan revealed five clear plastic bags containing a crystal substance, which tested positive for crystal methamphetamine. The passenger was handed over to the SAPS.

In another incident on Saturday, the SARS dog detector unit intercepted 4kg of cocaine worth R1.2 million. The bust was made during an aircraft inspection on a flight from Sao Paulo, when a SARS dog unit inspector detected a body suit hidden in the aircraft toilet.  The substance concealed in the bodysuit tested positive for cocaine and the suspect was also handed over to the police.

The busts made by SARS totalled R6.5 million. -

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