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15 Oct 2015
11:59 am

Drugs worth R16m found at OR Tambo Airport


Custom officials at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg discovered packets of crystal meth estimated to be worth over R16 million, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) said on Thursday.

The 20 packets of crystal meth wrapped in carbon which officials discovered at OR Tambo International Airport on October 14. The packets altogether weighed 20,6kg and the drugs were estimated to be worth R6,8 million. Picture: Supplied/SARS

SARS spokesperson Luther Lebelo said custom officials discovered crystal meth worth R6,18 million in one incident, and in the other, discovered R10.3 million worth of crystal meth. In the first incident on Wednesday, two officials decided to question two baggage handlers who had an accompanied bag in their possession.

“The officers became suspicious after detecting a strong smell of glue, and sent the bag for a scan,” he said. The bag had arrived in South Africa from Abu Dhabi via the Seychelles. As the bag was scanned in customs’ new high-tech baggage scanner, the images showed “concentrated substance” in the bag.

Upon this discovery, the officials then physically searched the bag, and found 20 packets that were “wrapped in carbon, which were covered by T-shirts, he said.

“The packets contained a white crystal-like substance, which tested positive for crystal meth.” The packets, which weighed 20,6kg were estimated to be worth R6.18 million.

In the second incident on Sunday, an official stopped a passenger arriving from Dar es Salaam in a random inspection. The official scanned his luggage, and searched it after suspicious images popped up on the screen.

Lebelo said “over R10 million worth of crystal meth” weighing 34.4kg was discovered in the passenger’s luggage. The total value of the druges was put at R10.32 million.

In both cases, the suspects and goods were handed over to the SA Police Service for further investigation.