SARS‚ police bust drugs worth R9m at OR Tambo airport

13 October 2017 - 18:43 By Ernest Mabuza
OR Tambo International Airport.
OR Tambo International Airport.

Customs officials seized 30kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of R9-million in two separate incidents at OR Tambo International Airport on Friday‚ the South African Revenue Service (SARS) said.

Two people were arrested.

In the first incident‚ collaboration between SARS Customs and the South African Police Service led to the arrest of a passenger disembarking from a Sao Paulo‚ Brazil‚ flight via Johannesburg to Mozambique.

A scan of the passenger’s luggage revealed irregular images and led to a second inspection‚ which uncovered 10 boxes of imitation jewellery. Ninety wooden sticks were found in the boxes concealing a white substance‚ which tested positively for cocaine.

A total of 24.66kg of cocaine with an estimated street value of R7.1m was confiscated and handed to the police.

In the second incident‚ SARS Customs officials intercepted 6.3kg of cocaine worth about R1 .8m concealed in the base of a passenger’s luggage.

The passenger was also on a Sao Paulo flight travelling via Johannesburg to Mozambique.

Both the passenger and the consignment were handed over to the police for further investigation.

SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said the successful operations were part of the increased joint operations between the Revenue Service and the police.