Woman arrested at OR Tambo with R2m worth of cocaine

2016-08-15 17:57
R2m worth of cocaine was seized at OR Tambo International Airport, they were disguised as cuban cigars. (Picture supplied)

R2m worth of cocaine was seized at OR Tambo International Airport, they were disguised as cuban cigars. (Picture supplied)

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Johannesburg - SA Revenue Services customs officials intercepted a woman trying to smuggle cocaine at the OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, police say.

A Venezuelan woman, travelling from Brazil, was stopped and searched. She was trying to smuggle 100 cocaine cigar tubes, weighing almost 8kg, worth R2m.

According to SAPS spokesperson Bernard Matimulane, the woman was still in custody and would appear in court on Tuesday.

A foreign national can be tried in South African courts, confirmed criminal law specialist and advocate, Professor James Grant of Wits University.

News24 understands that the woman will be prosecuted according to the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992.

Dealing in the substance can result in a fine, or imprisonment of up to 25 years, or both. The extent of the fine or prison sentence depends on the gravity of the crime. 

The cocaine was smuggled through as cuban cigars. (Picture supplied)

Cocaine trafficking in Africa

Data from the United Nations World Drug Report for 2016, which reveals major developments in drug markets and trafficking routes, shows that cocaine trafficking via Africa is regaining importance.

In 2014, cocaine seizures in Africa fell to 1.9 tons. The decline in seizures in 2014 dd not necessarily reflect a decline in cocaine trafficking in Africa, the report stated. Over the period in December 2014, to March 2016, at least 22 tons of cocaine were seized en route from South America via West Africa to Europe and most of those seizures took place outside Africa.

From 2009 to 2014, West Africa accounted for 78% of the total cocaine seizures and North Africa accounted for 11%. The largest quantity of cocaine seized was reported by Cabo Verde, followed by the Gambia, Nigeria and Ghana.

Africa is often supplied with cocaine departing from Brazil (51%), Colombia (18%), Peru (13%) and Chile (9%).

The global cocaine interception rate, based on cocaine production estimates and quantities of cocaine seized, reached between 43% and 68% in 2014.

The use of cocaine has been growing since 2010, mainly due to the increase in use in South America. The report indicates that the number of cocaine users in emerging markets is rising. The number of cocaine users worldwide has grown from 14m in 1998 to 18.8m reported in 2014.
Read more on:    cocaine  |  airport  |  sars  |  or tambo

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