Drug dealers kept SA Revenue Service (Sars) customs officials on their feet over the festive season with a total of 120 seizures, including 63 for drugs worth almost R8 million, being recorded at the various ports of entry.
In a statement on Friday, Sars said the drug seizures had continued into the new year.
“Sars Customs has intercepted seven kilograms of ephedrine and 86 litres of ecstasy, worth a total of R4,3 Million during this first week of the year at OR Tambo International Airport,” said Sars spokeswoman Janine Mqulwana said.
On Monday, a suspected drug trafficker was arrested after a customs officer confiscated 7.2kg of ephedrine to the value of R2.16 million from the suspect’s baggage.
“The customs officer found containers filled with a white crystal substance which tested positively for ephedrine, the principal ingredient in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine. The reaction of a customs sniffer dog also confirmed the presence of narcotics. A female passenger made enquiries about the parcel and was taken for questioning before being placed under arrest by the South African Police Service.”
Mqulwana said that on Wednesday narcotic dogs reacted positively to a consignment of boxes that contained a liquid which tested positive for ecstasy.
“A total of 86 litres was discovered, with an estimated street value of R2 150 000. Both consignments were en route from Nigeria.”
On Thursday, close to five kilograms of cannabis, valued at R4 800, was confiscated from the luggage of a pedestrian entering South Africa at the Caledonspoort border post (border with Lesotho).
All consignments were handed to the police for further investigation.
Mqulwana said that customs had been on duty throughout the festive season manning the country’s ports of entry as travellers entered and exited South Africa.
“Travel activity is expected to increase this coming weekend as the holiday period draws to a close,” she added.