South Africa 22.8.2018 04:17 pm

Four bust with ‘cocaine’ worth millions at OR Tambo International Airport

Drugs file picture.

Drugs file picture.

The two women and two men had the substance in false compartments in their luggage, while one of the men had capsules in his stomach.

Four people, two men and two women, have been arrested in separate incidents this week at the busy OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) after being found in possession of substances suspected to be cocaine, the South African Police Service says.

“The two men were stopped and searched as they were en route to their final destinations. A 53-year-old man’s luggage was searched and suspected cocaine with an estimated street value of R1.3 million was found in a false compartment of his bag. A 48-year-old man was searched, and through an x-ray machine, it was discovered that he had foreign items in his stomach. The suspect was taken to hospital where 13 capsules, believed to have contained cocaine, were removed safely,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale.

She said a further 49 capsules, also suspected of containing cocaine, were found in the aeroplane’s malfunctioning toilet which the man had been on.

“During further joint intelligence-driven operations the luggage of the women was intercepted before they were about to board flights either to or via Dubai. Both their bags were searched and it was discovered that each of their bags had secret compartments. The bag belonging to the 53-year-old woman contained cereal boxes as well as a protein shake container. The boxes and the container contained white powder which preliminary investigations indicated to be cocaine with an estimated street value of R980 000,” said Mogale.

“The second [woman] suspect was also stopped by the team as she was checking in. The false compartment contained white powder also believed to be cocaine which was found wrapped in paper. The estimated value of this product could easily reach R680 000 if it is proven to be cocaine.”

Mogale warned that law enforcement agencies at ORTIA are cracking down on drug dealers and peddlers.

“These substances and their precursors are ravaging our communities and such arrests bear testimony to the commitment of this team to rid this country of drugs and drug dealers.  Investigations are continuing.”

The four suspects face charges of possession, dealing and/or trafficking of illegal drugs.

African News Agency (ANA)

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