Multiple busts net drugs worth R48.7m

2015-07-20 14:44

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Johannesburg - Four drug busts by customs officials in the past week have stopped Viagra, Mandrax and cocaine, with a total estimated street value of R48.7m,  from hitting the country's streets, the SA Revenue Service said on Monday.

"Last night [Sunday], a member of the Lebombo Detector Dog Unit discovered Mandrax worth R3m hidden in a truck entering South Africa from Mozambique," spokesperson Luther Lebelo said in a statement.

"After searching the truck, six bags weighing 25kg were found hidden in the truck. The packages were immediately tested and it was found to contain the drug methaqualone (also known as Mandrax). In total 66 000 Mandrax tablets were uncovered. The driver was arrested and a case of possession of narcotics was opened against him," Lebelo said.

On Saturday, a woman was found to have hidden more than 4kg of cocaine in books in her check-in luggage at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

"The drugs are valued at over R1.2m and the woman is expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court today [Monday]," Lebelo said.

"These incidents follow the discovery of 410 000 Viagra tablets on Thursday, July 16, at OR Tambo. In what is the largest Viagra bust at the airport, customs officials discovered 24 boxes weighing 481kg."

A full inspection of the boxes led to the discovery of 199 800 Zenegra - which has the same ingredients as Viagra - and 210 200 Viagra tablets, with an estimated street value of R40.1m.

On Wednesday, customs officials at Or Tambo uncovered up to 15.3kg of cocaine hidden in a passenger’s luggage. Further investigations revealed the substance was pure cocaine, with an estimated street value of R4.4m.

"These busts are significant seizures and are a result of ever-improving systems, process enhancements and a renewed commitment to combating organised crime and illicit trade activities introduced by Sars commissioner Tom Moyane upon taking office," Lebelo said.

"Sars will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  drugs

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