Sars seizes drugs worth over R30 million at OR Tambo

South African Revenue Service (Sars) Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia) this week confiscated 108kg of drugs which were hidden in boxes and declared as ‘calcium carbonate’.

Officials inspected the boxes in the cargo section at Ortia after they arrived from Kenya on Tuesday. They discovered a white powdery substance and a brown sand-like substance, which they sent to a private laboratory for testing. The results came back positive for the drug ketamine (the white powdery substance) and Acetylanthranil, a base ingredient for Methaqualone (mandrax).

The case has been handed over to the Hawks for further investigation.

In another incident, a truck leaving Lesotho was stopped yesterday (12 April) at Ficksburg border post in the Free State and searched after the driver acted suspiciously. Customs officials then discovered 207 bags filled with cannabis weighing over 6000kg. The total value of the cannabis is over R9million. The driver was taken into police custody.

Sars Customs this week also released statistics for the total number of busts that have taken place over the past financial year.

The combined value of goods confiscated from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 amounts to more than R 2.3 billion.

According to Chief Officer for Customs and Excise, Teboho Mokoena, the seizure of counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods made up the biggest contribution, amounting to R1.8-billion.

This was followed by the seizure of narcotics, including Tik, cocaine and other drugs, amounting to over R326-million.

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