Cocaine bust worth R3.6 million

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Pretoria - Cocaine worth an estimated R3.6 million was confiscated at OR Tambo Airport, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Thursday.

“Customs officials at the Oliver Tambo International Airport confiscated 13kg of cocaine in two separate incidents on 7 and 8 May 2017. The estimated street value of the cocaine is approximately R3.6 million,” said SARS.

In both cases the drugs were found after Customs officials stopped and engaged passengers from incoming flights from South America. 

The luggage of two specific passengers were identified for further scrutiny, scanned by the Customs Baggage scanner and brought to the Customs search area for additional physical searches in the presence of the passengers.

In the first incident, on Sunday, 7 May, cocaine weighing 1.7kg was found in hidden compartments inside three new handbags in the luggage of a female traveller after a narcotics detective dog reacted positively to the luggage.

On Monday, 8 May, the luggage of a female traveller was physically searched after the scanner revealed a suspicious image.

A customs official opened a tin of canned fruit found inside the luggage. A powdery substance was found inside that tested positive for cocaine. Ten tins weighing 6.8kg (including the tins) were handed over to the South African Police Service. 

“Both the passengers were also handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS),” said the revenue service. –

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