Police seize drugs worth over R60m at airport

Thembela Khamango

Thembela Khamango

Police are conducting roundthe-clock investigations after seizing drugs worth more than R60million at OR Tambo International Airport at the weekend.

According to police spokesman Senior Superintendent Vishnu Naidoo three boxes from South America marked "engine parts" arrived at the cargo section of the airport.

"After the boxes were profiled officials became suspicious of the contents and opened them," Naidoo said. "Refined cocaine was discovered in plastic containers."

He said it was not clear whether the drugs were destined for local consumption or for another country on the African continent.

Naidoo said this comes after several months during which no attempts were made to smuggle drugs or other contraband in large quantities through the airport.

"After the successes between 2005 and 2006, when police detected and seized several hundred million rands worth of drugs, there was a sudden halt in smuggling through the airport," Naidoo said.

In a separate incident two West Africans were arrested on Friday at the same airport for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the country.

"Police spotted the courier and kept him under surveillance," Naidoo said. "He led them to the West Africans in the parking area. Two of their cars were seized."

The three men are expected to appear in Kempton Park magistrates' court today.