Pretoria — The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs team has seized a total of 54kg of drugs worth almost R16 million at OR Tambo International Airport.
The seizures over the weekend were in ten separate incidents with the first seizure on Friday. A search of an empty flight that had arrived from Sao Paulo resulted in the finding of an abandoned body wrap containing around 3kg of cocaine valued at R800 000 after a SARS drug detector dog named Dodge reacted positively around a seat. In another incident a passenger travelling from Delhi was found carrying about 28kg of crystal meth (tik) valued at around R8.4 million that was hidden in several ladies handbags.
Also on Friday, a passenger in transit from Sao Paulo to Lagos was stopped for questioning. A search revealed that the passenger's hand luggage containing a number of towels that had been soaked in liquid cocaine estimated at around 9kg with a value of R2.5 million.
On Saturday, the customs team stopped a passenger in transit from Sao Paulo to Maputo for further checks who was found to be in possession of at least 5.5kg of cocaine valued at almost R1.5 million. Another was found in possession of up to 2.7kg cocaine in a body wrap.
On Sunday, two passengers arriving from Sao Paulo were caught carrying cocaine in body wraps weighing 1.2kg and 1.73 kg worth a valued of R326 000 and R 461 000 respectively. Another two passengers in transit from Sao Paulo to Lagos were found carrying cocaine in body wraps worth the value of R434 000 and R431 000 respectively.
Also on Sunday, a passenger on a flight from Sao Paulo was found to have swallowed 80 bullets of cocaine valued at R216 000.
"All individuals involved and the drugs they were carrying have been handed over to the SAPS for further action. These seizures mean that already this month SARS has stopped over 90kg of drugs entering the country. Final November figures will be available in early December," SARS deputy spokesperson Marika Muller said on Monday.