Customs officials have seized R6.5m in drugs over the past five days, while also arresting three people in four separate incidents at OR Tambo airport, Sars have confirmed.
Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela said the string of narcotics busts started on Wednesday when two passengers coming of a flight from Sao Paulo, Brazil were searched after one of them was identified as a possible drug mule, while the other displayed suspicious behaviour.
The two passengers were taken to hospital where x-rays revealed that they had “swallowed a total of 91 cocaine bullets between them”.
“The first passenger had 58 foreign objects inside the abdomen while the other had 41. Altogether 91 cocaine bullets, weighing approximately 1.4kg were identified,” said Memela.
Both suspects were arrested and “placed under medical surveillance for release of the bullets”.
On Saturday, during an aircraft inspection on a flight from Sao Paulo, members of 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,” said Memela.
On Sunday, Sars officials searched the backpack of a passenger disembarking from a flight from Kenya.
The passenger had tried to “rush past the custom officials,” said Memela.
“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.”
Memela said the passenger’s backpack was found to contain 16kg of ephedrine worth R4.8 million. A further inspection of the bag revealed “five clear plastic bags containing a crystal substance which tested positive for crystal methamphetamine”.