Canned fruit turns out to be cocaine

The tins in which cocaine was discovered at the airport. Photograph: SARS

Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport confiscated 13kg of cocaine in two separate incidents on May 7 and 8.

The estimated street value of the cocaine is about R3, 6 million, SARS said in a statement.

In both cases the drugs were found after customs officials stopped and engaged passengers from incoming flights from South America.  The luggage of two passengers were identified for further scrutiny, scanned by the customs baggage scanner and brought to the customs search area for additional physical searches in the presence of the passengers.

In the first incident on May 7, cocaine weighing 1,7kg was found in hidden compartments inside three new handbags in the luggage of a female traveller after a narcotics detective dog reacted positively to the luggage.

THESE three handbags had false compartments in which cocaine was hidden. Photograph: SARS

In the second incident the next day the luggage of a female traveller was physically searched after the scanner revealed a suspicious image.

A customs official opened a tin of canned fruit found inside the luggage. A powdery substance was found inside that tested positive for cocaine. Ten tins weighing 6,8kg (including the tins) were handed over to the South African Police Service.

Both the passengers were also handed over to the South African Police Service.

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