Sars reports big drug haul

2013-11-05 23:24

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Johannesburg - Drugs worth about R14.2m were seized in October by SA Revenue Service (Sars) customs teams throughout the country, the tax-collector said on Tuesday.

Eleven kilograms of cocaine, worth about R3.2m on the street, and 51kg of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of about R11m, were seized before entering the country, Sars spokesperson Marika Muller said in a statement.

The drugs were found at: King Shaka International Airport, in Durban; the Beit Bridge border with Zimbabwe; the Lebombo border with Mozambique; and OR Tambo International Airport, in Kempton Park.

The drugs were en route from India, Brazil, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Germany.

Snakes, scorpions and spiders bound for Germany and Greece were also seized.

"Nine plastic containers holding scorpions and spiders [were] found in a parcel without declaration, bound for Germany. They were detained for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) procedures," Muller said.

Three snakes were found in a parcel being sent to Greece. They had been declared as "documents".

A live pangolin, also known as a scaly ant-eater, was found in a taxi crossing into the country from Mozambique. It is a protected species.

The animal was handed to the Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency.

A parcel from Nigeria containing blank cheques and US dollar postal orders worth about R3.8m was handed to the US consulate, Muller said.

A Port Elizabeth woman, Desire Jenkins, was sentenced earlier this month to 10 years in prison for racketeering and 10 years for fraud and money-laundering. The sentences would run concurrently.

A Johannesburg man, Sylvester Sithole, was accused of 33 counts of fraud and theft, allegedly involving R13m, and was out on R100 000 bail.

The matter had been postponed until 5 December by the Johannesburg Commercial Crimes Court.

Sars said the police helped with the operations.

Read more on:    sars  |  narcotics

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