Airport drugs bust 'actress' named

2015-09-29 14:42
Parcels of ephedrine found at OR Tambo International Airport (Sars)

Parcels of ephedrine found at OR Tambo International Airport (Sars)

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Johannesburg - The woman - thought to be a South African actress - bust for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs worth an estimated R4.6m into the country at OR Tambo International Airport has appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court.

SA Revenue Service spokesperson Luther Lebelo said the woman, Mmatjatji Malatji, appeared in court on Tuesday. The hearing was postponed to October 7 for her bail application.

Malatji will remain in custody until then.

She was arrested on Sunday after 15.4kg of ephedrine was found in her bag. She was on a flight from Abu Dhabi.

Ephedrine is used to manufacture crystal methamphetamine or tik.

On Monday, Lebelo said Malatji, unidentified at the time, was proceeding through the "nothing to declare" channel or green channel when she was stopped by customs officials for her bags to be scanned.

One of her bags showed "suspicious images".

"Upon further investigation and searching of the bag, officials discovered 15 parcels wrapped in carbon/foil-like material hidden in the luggage. Immediate tests conducted by Sars officials confirmed that the suspected substance was ephedrine."

Lebelo said the passenger was detained and the narcotics confiscated. The case was handed to the organised crime unit of the South African Police Service for further investigation.

Following Malatji's arrest, speculation was rife on social media about who the "actress" was.

But later on Monday police said that Malatji was not a celebrity.

"Contrary to public belief, the arrested woman is not a South African celebrity," Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said at the time.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  narcotics

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