Customs officials seize ‘artwork’ drugs worth R37m at OR Tambo Airport

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Joined: Nov 2016

Customs officers of the SA Revenue Service (Sars) seized 23kg of narcotics disguised as moulded artwork, with an estimated street value of R37m, at OR Tambo International Airport last week. 

In a statement, Sars said the officers came across a box headed for New Zealand during an inspection at the cargo sheds.

“The box contained items of moulded artwork, which looked suspicious. The officers used a narcotics test kit and some of the items tested positive for crystal meth, which weighed 10kg.” 

A test by the police on other items tested positive for fentanyl which weighed 13kg. The narcotics were handed over to police for further investigation. 

Sars commissioner Edward Kieswetter praised the customs officers’ vigilance.

“Sars Customs will spare no effort in stopping the export or import of narcotics and any illegal substance which cause so much pain and hardship for families, particularly their youth. 

“Drug smugglers must know that our customs division is fully committed to this objective, and will act without fear or favour against those criminals involved in the drugs trade,” Kieswetter said. 



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