Big­gest ever drug bust in SA

Sunday World - - Government At Work -

THE South African Rev­enue Ser­vice (Sars) seized nar­cotics on Thurs­day with an es­ti­mated street value of R21-mil­lion.

Busts of co­caine, crys­tal meth, heroin, cannabis and ephedrine with a street value of R17.4-mil­lion were made at OR Tambo In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

About 32kg of liq­uid crys­tal meth worth R9.6-mil­lion were in­ter­cepted at the Jo­han­nes­burg In­ter­na­tional Mail Cen­tre.

They were des­tined for Cen­tu­rion, Joburg, from In­dia.

Col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Hawks and Sars cus­toms of­fi­cial landed the se­cond-big­gest of the seven busts, a con­sign­ment of 18kg of ephedrine worth an es­ti­mated street value of R5.4-mil­lion, con­cealed in the lug­gage of a South African pas­sen­ger on an in­com­ing Abu Dhabi flight.

Ephedrine is the main in­gre­di­ent in the man­u­fac­ture of crys­tal meth.

In the se­cond in­ci­dent, the scan­ning of a lost bag re­vealed a pack­age con­tain­ing a yel­low oily liq­uid that tested pos­i­tive for crys­tal meth, weigh­ing 4.4kg and with a value of R1.3-mil­lion. The pack­age was en route from Doha to East Lon­don.

Mean­while, dur­ing ran­dom in­spec­tions at a courier com­pany in the third in­ci­dent, a Sars de­tec­tor dog re­acted pos­i­tively to two pack­ages en route to Canada, con­ceal­ing 2.8kg of heroin worth R573 544.

A ship­ment en route to the UK was also in­ter­cepted when a Sars de­tec­tor dog re­acted pos­i­tively to a con­cealed con­sign­ment of 13kg of com­pressed cannabis val­ued at R18 200.

In the last in­ci­dent, a ran­dom in­spec­tion by cus­toms of­fi­cials at the Jo­han­nes­burg In­ter­na­tional Mail Cen­tre re­sulted in the de­tec­tion of 1.9kg of co­caine worth R573 098, con­cealed in shampoo and hair treat­ment prod­ucts.

The pack­age was en route from Brazil to Swazi­land.

Mean­while, an il­le­gal cig­a­rette bust worth R3.6-mil­lion was made at Grob­lers­bridge bor­der in Lim­popo.

A joint op­er­a­tion be­tween Sars cus­toms, Sars tac­ti­cal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and the South African Po­lice Ser­vice (SAPS) led to the dis­cov­ery of il­le­gal cig­a­rettes worth R3.6-mil­lion this week.

The stash was found in sev­eral false com­part­ments on a truck en­ter­ing South Africa from Zam­bia,” said Sars.

All con­sign­ments and sus­pects have been handed over to the SAPS for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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