Airport staff bust on drug dealing charges at OR Tambo International Airport

16 November 2023 - 09:45
OR Tambo International Airport. File image
Image: Sinesipho Schrieber OR Tambo International Airport. File image

Three employees of companies operating at OR Tambo International Airport and two Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) employees have been arrested for suspected drug trafficking.

The suspects also face charges of contravention of the Civil Aviation Act and contravention of the Customs and Excise Act. The arrests were made in a joint operation between Acsa and the Hawks.

Acsa regional GM for the airport cluster Jabulani Khambule said the suspects will appear in court on Friday.

“This is a first operation of its kind in relation to transnational drug trafficking perpetrated through ORTIA, where a drug seizure made abroad was positively linked to suspects in South Africa for their complicity,” said Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale.

Their arrest, on Wednesday, comes after a large drug consignment was recently confiscated in Australia for which two suspects were arrested.

The airport workers, he said, stand accused of facilitating the thoroughfare of drugs coming into and out of the airport.

Two suspects are employed by Acsa, two at Menzies Aviation and one from Swissport.

Acsa is on high alert for criminality, Khambule said.

We have raised our level of alertness, particularly as we head to the festive season, which is typically accompanied by an increase in illicit trade.”