​SARS Customs seize R21 Million worth of narcotics

Pretoria, 10 March 2016 - While the Russia-Africa Anti-Drug Dialogue was underway in Durban this week,  SARS Customs officials have seized an estimated R21 Million street worth of narcotics with the assistance of upgraded state of the art scanning equipment, a highly trained detector dog unit, dedicated SARS Customs officers, and collaboration with the Hawks and the South African Police Service.
 
Narcotics busts of cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, heroin, cannabis and ephedrine worth a street value of R17,4 Million were made at the OR Tambo International Airport, including 32kg of liquid Crystal Methamphetamine worth R9,6 Million having just been intercepted around 1pm today. 
 
The package was intercepted at the Johannesburg International Mail Centre and was destined for Centurion, South Africa, from India.
 
A cigarette bust of R3,6 Million took place at the Groblersbridge border.
 
Narcotic busts at OR Tambo International Airport
  • Collaboration between the Hawks and SARS Customs officers landed the second biggest of the seven busts – a consignment of 18kg of ephedrine - the principle ingredient in the manufacture of crystal methamphetamine and worth an estimated street value of R5,4 Million, concealed in the luggage of a South African passenger on an incoming Abu Dhabi flight.   
  • In the second incident, the scanning of a lost bag revealed a package containing a yellow oily liquid testing positive for Crystal Methamphetamine, weighing R4,4kg and valued at R1,3 Million. The package was en-route from Doha to East London, South Africa.   
  • During random inspections at a courier company, in the third incident, a SARS detector dog reacted positively to two packages en-route to Canada concealing 2,8kg of heroin worth R573 544.  
  • A shipment en-route to the United Kingdom was also intercepted when a SARS detector dog reacted positively to a concealed consignment of 13kg of compressed cannabis valued at R18 200.  
  • In the last incident, a random inspection by customs officials at the Johannesburg International Mail Centre resulted in the detection of 1,9kg of cocaine worth R573 098, concealed in shampoo and hair treatment products.  The package was en-route from Brazil to Swaziland.   
Illegal cigarette bust worth R3.6 Million at Groblersbridge border
 
Meanwhile at the Groblersbridge border, a masterful joint operation between SARS Customs, SARS tactical investigations and the South African Police Service (SAPS) led to the discovery of illegal cigarettes worth R 3, 6 Million this week.
 
The stash was found in several false compartments of the tanker of a truck entering South Africa from Zambia. 
 
SARS would like to thank the Department of Criminal Investigations and the South African Police Service for their contribution to the success of these busts.  All consignments and suspects have been handed over to the South African Police Services for further investigation.