South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs has netted close to R400 million in illicit and illegal goods since January 1 this year.
- Narcotics: 122 busts valued at R102 825 888
- Cigarettes: 27 busts valued at R593 707
- CITES (including endangered species such as rhino horns and abalone): 9 busts valued at R13 285 213
- Viagra/Viagra generics: 36 busts valued at R5 118 400
- Counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods: 320 busts valued at R206 849 590
- Alcohol: 40 busts valued at R978 470
- Illicit cigarettes and tobacco: 45 busts valued at R10 732 767
- Clothing, textiles and other goods: 23 busts valued at R23 816 086
In addition, a special high-visibility joint operation led by Sars Customs in Cape Town on March 1 and 2 resulted in 46 interceptions with a value of R33 229 233.
According to a statement from Sars, the biggest haul was the discovery of uncut crystal methamphetamine (tik) with an estimate value of R30m stashed in fridges on a truck which arrived in Cape Town from Johannesburg.
“In the same truck, a large amount of suspected counterfeit clothing was discovered. The truck driver was arrested,” added a Sars spokesperson. “The operation, under the auspices of Operation Phakisa, also led to the detection of 177 cases of non-compliance, including possible under-valuation, non-declaration of goods, non-permits for import purposes, illegal transporting of abalone and detention of vehicles.”
Some of the other high-profile busts include:
- Fentanyl/Oxycodone with an estimated value of R30 000 000.00 en route from China to South Africa seized at OR Tambo International Airport.
- Ephedrine with an estimated value of R4 200 000.00 en route from Tanzania to South Africa seized at OR Tambo International Airport.
- Heroin with an estimated value of R3 600 000.00 en route from Mozambique to South Africa seized at Lebombo Border Post.
- Heroin with an estimated value of R3 188 598.00 en route from South Africa to Mauritius seized at OR Tambo International Airport.
- Ephedrine with an estimated value of R17 202 000.00 en route from Kenya to South Africa seized at OR Tambo International Airport.
- Crystal Meth with an estimated value of R6 000 000.00 en route from Rwanda to South Africa seized at OR Tambo International Airport.