JOHANNESBURG - Customs officials at South Africa's ports of entry made several breakthroughs the past week, including intercepting over R9 million in cash on its way from South Africa to Dubai, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) said in a statement on Friday.

On Monday, two male passengers, who were travelling separately, were questioned at OR Tambo International Airport after they admitted to officials they were in possession of US currency, Sars said.

"Upon further questioning, the two passengers could not provide explanations or evidence as to how they had acquired the currency. They were escorted off and taken to the Customs control area where their respective luggage was searched," the statement said. 

When officials inspected one man's luggage, they found US$ 464,650 (R6.1 million) wrapped in brown tape. The second man's luggage contained US$ 234,000 (R3million) concealed in paper and also wrapped in brown tape.

"The currency was confiscated, and the passenger handed over to the SAPS for further investigations as well," Sars said.

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African News Agency (ANA)