Pretoria, 28 September 2015 – SARS Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) discovered 15.4 kilograms of ephedrine (crystal meth) in the bag of a passenger who had arrived from Abu Dhabi on Sunday, 27 September 2015. The narcotics have an estimated street value of R4.6 million.
The passenger, who was proceeding through the “Nothing to declare channel-Green channel”, was stopped by Customs officials for her bags to be scanned. The scanning of her one bag showed up suspicious images. Upon further investigation and searching of the bag, officials discovered 15 parcels wrapped in carbon/foil-like material hidden in the luggage. Immediate tests conducted by SARS officials confirmed that the suspected substance was ephedrine, which is the main ingredient in crystal meth.
The narcotics and passenger, identified as a South African actress, were detained and subsequently handed over to South African Police Service (SAPS) Organised Crime for further investigation. In line with South African law, the details of the passenger will only be released once she has appeared in court.
This is a significant seizure by SARS Customs who implement daily inspections in an effort to foil smuggling of goods. SARS will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime and reducing illicit trade activities.