Over R16m worth of Tik found at OR Tambo this week

2015-10-15 14:58
Some of the drugs seized by Sars. (Photo supplied by Sars)

Some of the drugs seized by Sars. (Photo supplied by Sars)

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Johannesburg - Crystal meth (Tik) with an estimated street value over R16 million has been discovered by customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport this week, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said on Thursday.

"On 14 October [Wednesday] customs officials stopped two baggage handlers for questioning and searched an unaccompanied bag they had in their possession," spokesperson Luther Lebelo said.

"The bag had come to South Africa from Abu Dhabi via the Seychelles. The officers became suspicious after detecting a strong smell of glue and sent the bag for a scan."

Customs’ new high-tech baggage scanner showed an image of a concentrated substance with the bag then physically searched.

Officers discovered packets wrapped in carbon, which were covered by T-shirts. The packets contained a white crystal-like substance, which tested positive for crystal meth.

"Altogether 20 packets were found containing 20.6kg of crystal meth valued at R6.18 million. The case was handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for further investigation," Labelo said.

"And on 11 October [Sunday], customs officials discovered over R10 million worth of crystal meth in a passenger’s baggage after stopping him for a random inspection."

The passenger had arrived on a flight from Dar es Salaam when the officer asked him to hand over his bags for scanning. 

Altogether 34.4kg of crystal meth, valued around R10.3 million, was confiscated. The man and the goods were handed over to police for further investigation.

"These are just two of many such cases in which customs officials are discovering large amounts of ephedrine/crystal meth being smuggled into the country," Labelo said.

"From April this year to date, customs nationally has recorded crystal meth busts valued at R122 323 495 with ephedrine busts valued at R38 515 000."

During the 2014/15 financial year, crystal meth busts valued R159.9 million and ephedrine busts R2.4 million.

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