Customs seize drugs worth millions

2013-04-06 08:15
Drugs seized (File: Beeld)

Drugs seized (File: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - About 90kg of drugs with an estimated street value of just under R27m were intercepted at South Africa's ports of entry during March, the SA Revenue Service said on Friday.

"The operation took place throughout March and in all cases, the drugs seized and the individuals involved were handed over to the police.

"The drugs were seized in 21 different interventions," Sars said in a statement.

A total of eight people were arrested. In one case a woman arriving in Johannesburg on a flight from Mumbai via Nairobi was caught with 24kg of crystal meth, with an estimated street value of more than R7m.

The drugs were concealed in cotton reels in her luggage.

Another woman was caught with the same drug, with an estimated street value of R6m, in her luggage.

She was travelling from Doha to Maputo via Johannesburg.

Fraud cases

The operation also resulted in the arrest of seven people who allegedly defrauded Sars. A man was arrested after it was discovered his bank account had been used to deposit fraudulent tax refunds totalling R450 000.

He was arrested when he tried to make a withdrawal inside a bank. He appeared in court and was released on R50 000 bail.

In another fraud case, Duduzile Nkabinde, pleaded guilty in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court to charges of theft.

She allegedly changed taxpayers' bank account details so their tax refunds were paid into her own bank account.

Further details on Nkabinde, such as where she worked, were not immediately available. The case was postponed to 6 May.

Customs officials also seized 775 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes worth over R7.4m at a warehouse in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.

Sars intercepted parcels containing a total of 2 392 Viagra tablets, valued at over R239 000, destined for South African addresses.

Read more on:    sars  |  narcotics

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