Acsa slams claim OR Tambo is drug conduit
THE Airports Company of SA (Acsa) has slammed Hong Kong Chaplain John Wotherspoon’s suggestion that there has been a rise in drug trafficking cases via OR Tambo International Airport.
Acsa spokesperson Betty Maloka yesterday said the claim caused reputational damage for the airport and South Africa. “The relevant agencies responsible for detecting and preventing drug trafficking and trade in illicit goods as set out in legislation and regulations are aware of the report, and are attending to the matter.
“Our mandate and responsibility is to safeguard civil aviation against unlawful interference,” Maloka said.
In a statement this week, Wotherspoon alleged that 20% of all people arrested at Hong Kong International Airport in 2018 and last year for the possession of illegal substances had brought drugs from Joburg.
In the same statement, Patricia Gerber, of the NPO South Africans Locked Up in Foreign Countries, alleged 100 people arrested at the Mauritius Airport since 2017 and jailed or remanded in custody, had brought drugs via OR Tambo International Airport.
Maloka said no prohibited items were allowed on board an aircraft that could be used to perpetrate an act of unlawful interference to civil aviation such as hijacking, acts of terrorism, explosions and other threats.
“The mandate to prevent drug trafficking and all other aspects of criminality resides with the SAPS. The prevention of trade in illicit goods is the responsibility of the Customs and Excise division of Sars.”