Customs bags over R400m in illicit goods since start of 2018


South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs has netted close to R400 million in illicit and illegal goods since January 1 this year.

These include:

  • 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.

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