The latest drug bust at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg netted 25kg of tik (crystal methamphetamine) valued at R7.5-million on Friday night.
South African Revenue Service customs officials made the seizure during an inspection of a flight from Cotonou in Benin‚ West Africa.
“All unaccompanied bags were escorted to the SARS customs search area for scanning (and) 25 plastic bags containing a white substance were found in one of the bags‚” said SARS spokesman Sandile Memela.
“The substance tested positive for crystal methamphetamine weighing 25.2kg with a street value of R7‚560‚000.”
On Wednesday‚ customs officials at OR Tambo intercepted a man who claimed an unaccompanied bag from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania containing 20kg of ephedrine.
The seized ephedrine‚ a key ingredient in the manufacturing of tik‚ was estimated to be worth R6m.
The interception followed collaborative efforts between SARS‚ airline officials and the police.
On Friday last week‚ customs officials found a bag containing tik worth R8-million. It had been sent unaccompanied from India via Abu Dhabi.
The previous day‚ a male passenger from Sao Paulo in Brazil was intercepted carrying 8.4kg of cocaine valued at R2.341-million. The man was on his way to Mozambique.
SARS said his checked-in black bag was scanned and showed two backpacks concealed inside — as well as a “suspicious looking white substance that turned out to be cocaine“.
Cape Town International Airport has also been the scene of significant drug busts in May.
On Sunday‚ police doing a profiling assignment at domestic arrivals bagged more than 2kg of a white substance resembling cocaine.
They discovered the stash after observing a man pick up a pink suitcase with wheels from the baggage carousel and head for the exit.
“Police members approached him and asked the man to search his suitcase‚” said police spokesman Captain FC Van Wyk.
“While they were busy conducting the search‚ a hidden compartment was discovered and 22 plastic bags containing a suspicious white substance were found. The K9 Unit was contacted and the SAPS sniffer dog reacted positively to the substance.”
They arrested the 31-year-old Nigerian.
The previous week‚ a stop-and-search operation at the Cape Town airport’s international departures netted a drug mule. Three compressed packets wrapped in brown plastic tape were hidden on the body of a 44-year-old female South African passenger. Saying the drugs appeared to be tik‚ the SAPS said the packages weighed 1kg.
Other drug busts at Cape Town airport this month include four Brazilian women found with 8.5kg of cocaine with an estimated value of over R2.2-million and a 27-year-old man arrested for possession of cocaine worth R500‚000.[Source: Times Live]