​Millions of rands worth of drugs and counterfeit goods confiscated at OR Tambo Airport - Liquid Methamphetamine worth R37.6 million amongst busts

Pretoria, 25 August 2015 – SARS Customs officers at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) have made significant busts as part of intensive weekend and daily operations over the past few months, with the biggest bust thus far this week, being a baggage of 125.4 kg of Liquid Methamphetamine worth a street value of R37.6 million. 
 
The bust took place last night.
 
A baggage handler pushing a trolley with nine unclaimed bags was asked to stop and have the bags scanned in the Customs area. This led to the discovery of 9 green canisters containing a liquid substance. A SARS Customs detector dog reaction indicated the possibility of narcotics, which a subsequent drug test confirmed to be methamphetamine*in a liquid form.  The liquid methamphetamine was handed over to SAPS organised crime unit for further investigation.
 
Other major busts conducted yesterday, 24 August 2015
 
Viagra Tablets
  • Yesterday also saw the confiscation of 60 000 Viagra tablets, worth a street value of R6 Million, at the OR Tambo Airport Mail Centre.  The latter was imported without the requisite regulatory control and was therefore liable for seizure.
 
Cocaine
  • A search of a backpack of a passenger in transit from Sao Paulo to Lagos resulted in the discovery of two foil wrapped containing a white substance. A Customs detector dog reaction indicated the possibility of narcotics.  The substance tested positive for cocaine, which weighed 3.46kg with a total value of R993 020.
 
 
Weekend Busts: 21 – 23 August 2015
 
  • 23 August: During a patrol of the international cargo area, Customs officers inspected boxes being loaded onto a bakkie. The inspection revealed 65 packages (14kg) of crystal meth with a street value of R4.2 million.  The case has been handed over to SAPS for further investigation.

 

  • 23 August: During an inspection of cargo at the SAA cargo shed, 27 cargo pieces from Hong Kong were inspected and found to contain 2000 pairs of Nike sneakers and 1700 pairs of Timberland boots which were suspected of being counterfeit. The total value of the goods was R7.2 million.

 

  • 23 August: Another shipment from Hong Kong was inspected at the SAA cargo shed and 220 Diesel jeans – suspected to be counterfeit – were discovered in three boxes. The jeans – valued at over R300 000 – were also handed over to the Counterfeit Investigation team for further inspection.

 

  • 22 August: Customs officers performing an inspection at SAA Cargo shed discovered 6000 pairs of Nike sneakers and 6200 pairs of Converse sneakers which had arrived from Hong Kong. The shoes, valued at R7.25m, were detained for further investigation.

 

  • 21 August: 1kg of heroin was discovered at the ORTIA Mail Centre in two parcels destined from South Africa to Spain and Ireland respectively. The total value of the heroin was R201 810. On the same day, a further parcel was seized at the Mail Centre which contained 2kg of Cannabis. 
 
These are major seizures by SARS Customs who implement daily inspections at all ports of entry, as part of its mandate to protect the borders of South Africa, in an effort to foil the smuggling of prohibited goods.  
 
SARS continues to work with other law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime and reducing illicit trade activities.