Crystal meth worth R236m bound for Australia seized at OR Tambo airport
The drugs were declared as multi-purpose anti-slip mat consignment.
Customs officials seized crystal meth with a street value of R236 million at the OR Tambo International Airport. Photo: Sars
Crystal meth weighing 785kg, with the street value of R236 million, has been intercepted by the South African Revenue Services (Sars).
Sars on Sunday said customs officers seized the cargo that was destined for Australia.
The tax collector said the consignment was declared as multi-purpose anti-slip mat.
“After this success, the South African Police Service’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) was informed about the detection and seizure and the goods were handed over to them for further investigation,” it said.
Sars Commissioner Edward Kieswetter commended customs officers for stopping the despatch of the drugs.
“I want to send a clear warning to the criminal syndicates that are using our ports of entry/exit to commit this type of crime, that our officers are alert and working very hard to stamp out such criminality. The excellent cooperation with other law enforcement agencies at these ports is enabling all of us to deal a deadly blow to these illegal activities,” he said.
This is the second bust in two weeks after a brick of cocaine was confiscated at the airport.
A woman in her late twenties was handcuffed after trying to smuggle the drugs onto a flight to Singapore.
In a statement Mzwandile Petros, group executive for Enterprise Security at Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), said: “At approximately 12.30pm on Thursday the airport’s security team, which is highly trained to notice suspicious and erratic behaviour, decided to approach the passenger who was about to catch a flight to Singapore.”
Petros added that the woman was then searched.
Earlier this month, the Hawks also arrested three men who were in possession of a large consignment of cocaine with an estimated value of more than R400 million.
The Hawks, working with Crime Intelligence and the Western Cape Traffic Police, followed up on information about a truck, suspected to be transporting drugs.
Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said an operation was then organised on the N1 freeway, and the truck was spotted at Winelands Engen garage travelling towards Cape Town.