The 74-year-old traveller was destined for a central European country when she was caught on Thursday.
A powdery substance was discovered during a physical inspection of her hand luggage, the contents of which tested positive for heroin.
Customs officers during a search of her luggage found concealed packages in false compartments hidden in her handbag.
Sars customs officers registered a criminal case at the local police station for drug possession and attempted smuggling. The suspect was then arrested, pending a court appearance on the charges.
Sars customs executive Mohamed Ally said: “Sars customs remains appreciative of the constructive collaboration between its officers, SAPS Crime Intelligence and other law enforcement agencies at OR Tambo International Airport, which continues to yield positive results in the fight against drug smuggling.”
Meanwhile, crime operations in the Western Cape in the Blue Downs Cluster last week resulted in the arrest of 114 suspects on various charges and the seizing of nine unlicensed firearms.
Search operations were conducted in areas including Mfuleni, Eerste River, Ravensmead and Belhar.
The operations in Mfuleni yielded the confiscation of 146 640 litres of alcohol, and two suspects were arrested for trading in liquor without a licence.
On Saturday, members of the Flying Squad responded to reports of a Toyota Avanza hijacked in Philippi East.
The surrounding area was searched and the hijacked vehicle was eventually spotted in Baden Powell Drive, standing on the side of the road.
Police arrested three suspects, one of whom was found in possession of a .22 calibre revolver which was reported stolen in Table View in 2017.
The Flying Squad also responded to information of a property where they seized 5 490 units of abalone in Bothasig last week.
The suspects responsible for the abalone are now being sought.