Drugs and horns found at OR Tambo

TWO suspects were arrested and drugs and rhino horns worth over R6-million intercepted in separate incidents at OR Tambo International Airport over the weekend.

The interception was conducted by a multi-disciplinary team from police, SA Revenue Services (SARS), the Department of Home Affairs, Airports Company SA (ACSA) and other stakeholders.

On Saturday, SARS customs officials and K9-unit conducted a full rummage onboard a flight from Sao Paolo and interviewed passengers. A Brazilian passenger was stopped after it was discovered that he had no tags on his luggage.

He was taken to the common search area where it was discovered the bag contained black blocks. Preliminary testing indicated the drug was most likely cocaine. If further tests confirm this, the consignment could be valued at R5-m, police spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo said on Monday.

“A further search of the same aircraft was conducted and two socks containing ‘cocaine bullets’ were found in different toilets. Preliminary tests also indicated the substance is cocaine. No arrests have been made with regards to these drugs,” says Naidoo.

In another incident on Friday, a man was arrested after he was found to be in possession of five rhino horns in his luggage. Customs officers followed up on information around a suspicious bag that was bound for Hong Kong.

“The identified bag and the owner were intercepted at the boarding gate. The passenger was escorted to the customs search area where the bag was put through the scanner and images resembling rhino horns could be seen among the contents,” Naidoo said.

A physical search of the bag was conducted and five rhino horns were found wrapped in foil. The suspect was arrested.

The horns were handed over to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (HAWKS) for further investigation.

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