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Johannesburg - Five drug smugglers will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday over the seizures of more than 54 kilograms of drugs worth about R16 million on the street, it was announced on Monday.
Three of the 10 seizures were on Friday, said the SA Revenue Service's (Sars) customs division.
In the first seizure, police sniffer dog Dodge found an abandoned “body wrap” containing 3kg of cocaine during a routine search of an empty flight from Sao Paulo.
In the second, a passenger travelling from Delhi, having transited in Addis Ababa, was found with about 28kg of “crystal meth”, otherwise known as methamphetamine or “tik”, valued at around R8.4m on the street, concealed in a number of women's handbags.
In the third, sniffer dog April found a number of towels soaked in around 9kg of liquid cocaine, with a street value of about R2.5m, on a passenger in transit from Sao Paulo to Lagos, Nigeria.
On Saturday, Sars customs officials stopped a passenger in transit from Sao Paulo to Maputo for further checks and found 5.5kg of cocaine concealed in two bags.
A second passenger, in transit to Lagos, Nigeria, was found to be carrying 2.7kg cocaine in a body wrap.
On Sunday, there were five seizures, Sars said.
Two passengers arriving from Sao Paulo were caught with cocaine in body wraps, as were two passengers in transit from Sao Paulo to Lagos. One passenger arriving from Sao Paulo had swallowed 80 cocaine bullets.
“These seizures mean that already this month Sars has stopped over 90kg of drugs entering the country,” Sars deputy spokeswoman Marika Muller said.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Tummi Shai said: “Organised crime is a problem globally, trends depict that many drug syndicates have grown their influence.”
“Criminals use the illegal drug trade to destroy our youth. Cocaine and many other drugs are highly addictive drugs,” she said.
“... The community is urged to report culprits who distribute and trade in drugs to the police. It is our collective accountability to save the country.”