SARS busts another cocaine smuggler at ORTIA

Pretoria, 9 December 2015 – SARS’s Customs team at Oliver Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) intercepted about 8,5 kg of cocaine with a street value of R2,5 million from a passenger en route to Lagos in Nigeria today.
 
The bust was triggered by SARS’s scanning equipment. It identified opaque images in handbags found in the checked-in bags of the passenger.
 

The man and two of his checked-in bags were intercepted and brought to Customs for a mandatory inspection for the luggage to be scanned. The passenger was then taken to the common search area where further inspection of the bags was conducted.

In one of the bags, four ladies' handbags were found, each containing eleven packages wrapped in brown tape, containing a cream-coloured powder substance.

A drug test confirmed that the substance was cocaine.

“This is the second Customs cocaine bust at ORTIA in a week. In both cases the illegal narcotics were identified through scanning of luggage.

“SARS will continue to increase its capacity to tackle smuggling of illegal goods and substances through our borders by means of significant investment in advanced technology,” said Sandile Memela, SARS Spokesperson.

In terms of legal procedure, the passenger and the detained narcotics were handed over to the Police for further investigation and possible arrest.