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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Gold bars worth R61m seized at OR Tambo

The trio had just flown into South Africa from Madagascar and were En-route to Dubai via Ethiopia last week when they were apprehended.


Three suspected smugglers have been arrested after gold weighing 73.5 kg was found in their hand luggage at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) on Sunday.

According to Colonel Athlenda Mathe, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African Revenue Service (SARS) customs officials, the Department of Health (Port Health officials) and officials from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) acted on information provided by security officials at the airport after a security scanner identified irregular images, and pounced on the trio at the international arrival terminals.

The trio had just flown into South Africa from Madagascar and were En-route to Dubai via Ethiopia last week when they were apprehended.

Upon questioning of the suspects and further inspection of their hand luggage, officials discovered the gold bars and some foreign currency.

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“Both the gold bars and foreign currency have been seized for further investigation under the Customs and Excise Act and the Exchange Control Regulation. The suspects have been detained and the matter has been taken over by the SAPS Organised Crime unit for criminal investigations.

“Investigations are also underway by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) with the assistance of Interpol with authorities from various countries to determine the legitimacy of the certification papers as provided by the men and also to determine the country of origin where the gold was mined

Investigations will also focus on which country the gold bars were destined for.

They are expected to appear before the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on charges of dealing with precious metal and contravention of the customs act.

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