+R29-milion crystal meths seized at OR Tambo
Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport seized crystal meth valued at +R29-million, in two drug busts yesterday, 22 September, South African Revenue Service (SARS) says.
Customs officials at the terminal discovered crystal meth worth over R18 million hidden in three bags which had arrived from Lagos, SARS said in a statement yesterday. The vigilant officials noticed the bags on the carousel, each marked with green tape. It seemed the baggage tags had been tampered with, indicating they belonged to different passengers. None of the labels corresponded to anyone on the flight.
The bags were then sent for scanning, using the new high-tech baggage scanner, which was installed at the airport in July this year. There appeared to be dense blocks inside the bags. When they were opened, officials discovered hairpieces covering several small square parcels wrapped in foil and cloth.
The 17 packets containing the crystal meth valued at R18 630 000, were then handed over to the SAPS. Later in the day, officials at the cargo section completed an inspection on several shipments declared as hair pieces from Lagos.
The shipment arrived on 12 September but the agent and client had constantly delayed the inspection until 22 September. Officials found two bags containing back packs and sports’ bags hidden amongst the consignment.
“A SARS detector dog reacted positively for drugs,” SARS said. After further inspection, false bottoms were discovered in the bags that concealed crystal meth. Altogether 35.4kg of crystal meth, valued at R10.6 million, was confiscated. The case was handed over to the SAPS.
Edited by St Francis Chronicle