14 July 2017

South Africa: Foreign Currency, Cocaine Seized at OR Tambo Airport

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has seized approximately R7 million in US dollars, as well as 197kg of cocaine in two separate incidents at OR Tambo International Airport.

The cocaine was intercepted by SARS Customs detector dogs. The drugs were disguised as shampoo en route from Sao Paolo, Brazil, in transit to Australia. Three narcotic detector dogs searched the shipment and the positive indication by the dogs led to a physical examination of the consignment.

"After the shipment was identified, the goods were unpacked, under the supervision of SARS Customs officials. Upon physical examination the contents were found to be bottles of hair shampoo. It was subsequently discovered that the shampoo contained a white cream which dried up quicker than normal cream and also become powdery when dry. Narcotic testing revealed that the cream reacted positive for cocaine," said the revenue service on Friday.

The goods were handed over to the South African Police Services, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (HAWKS), for further investigating and safe-keeping.

Meanwhile, last week Wednesday, SARS Customs officials intercepted a male traveller from Beira, in transit to Dubai, carrying $501 332.00 (approximately R6 717 848. 00).

The incident happened when the traveller, who claimed to be a businessman, failed to declare excess currency in his possession.

"SARS Customs officials searched his carry-on luggage and discovered that it contained the currency in varying denominations. He was requested to complete a Passenger Traveller card before he was handed over to the South African Police Service for further investigation," said SARS.

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