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Customs officers make R40m drug bust at OR Tambo International Airport

Customs officers make R40m drug bust at OR Tambo International Airport

Tshwane, 13 September 2021 – Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), seized 67 pieces of calcium hydroxide used to produce crystal methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “ice” or “tik”. The “party drug” weighing 132.41kg and valued at R40-million, was intercepted at a cargo terminal at the OR Tambo International Airport.

The Customs Detector Dog Unit deployed for routine inspections on an incoming cargo flight. While observing the collection of cargo, a  vehicle driver were noticed acting suspiciously. The driver was loading goods from two (2) boxes into his vehicle.

The driver was approached and the officers requested an inspection. The officers found 67 blocks of an unknown substance that originated from Addis Ababa. A drug testing kit was used on the contents, which tested positive for crystal meth. The goods were declared as personal effects.

The South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) was alerted about the detection to confirm and retest the substance. The test was positive for calcium hydroxide. The importer and driver were arrested. A criminal case was registered with the SAPS for further investigation.

A previous detection at ORTIA in June 2021 uncovered mandrax, weighing 1 746kg and valued at R105-million, inbound from Kenya,

SARS Commissioner Mr Edward Kieswetter hailed the efforts of the team that intercepted such dangerous substance, and added that “that if no action was taken, our country and our youth would have been exposed to the danger of drugs”. He issued a warning that “SARS acting in concert with other law enforcement agencies, will spare no efforts in confronting those involved in these crimes and stop the supply of these harmful drugs that threatens to derail the future of our country and destroy, especially our youth”.

Pics from crystal meth precursor found at ORTIA

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