Pretoria, 13 September 2018 – On Tuesday this week, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs officers intercepted a Hong Kong bound female student at OR Tambo International Airport, with almost R10-million – 630 000 USD – packed in 50 and 100 dollar bundles in a plastic bag.
The final amount, after counting, totalled 630 700 USD, which equates to R9 460 500.00.
The flight was due to leave when the officers intercepted the passenger on the flight. The passenger, a South African female student, who had boarded with two bags as hand luggage, was then alighted with her luggage.
Initially, she denied having currency in her possession, but after further questioning, she admitted that she had a substantial amount of money in her back pack.
Officers led her to the Customs search area, where she was placed in an interview room and requested to complete a traveller card. The passenger verbally stated that she had 650 000 United States dollars in her bag. She admitted that she was not the owner of the currency, nor could she supply any proof of ownership.
Customs registered a criminal case of smuggling currency and failure to declare at the local police station. The passenger was then arrested pending her court appearance on the charges. The case was registered under the South African Police Services, case number 117/9/2018. The student is expected to appear in court today.
“SARS remains appreciative of the constructive collaboration between ACSA, SAPS, DPCI, Asset Forfeiture Unit (NPA) and the State Security Agency (SSA), which is yielding positive results in the fight against the scourge of illicit financial flows,” said Acting Chief Officer: Customs and Excise, Beyers Theron.