Picture: Bas Kreukniet/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Three people, two men and a woman, were arrested at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) this past week after they were discovered trying to smuggle drugs through that port of entry, the police National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) said on Sunday.

On Tuesday, January 8, a 49-year-old man was arrested during an intelligence-driven operation. The man was found in possession of drugs with an estimated street value of over R100 000, Lt-Col Katlego Mogale said in a statement.

The suspect was about to board an evening flight to Munich in Germany when the team intercepted him and found khat in his luggage, resulting in his immediate arrest. The man, Erik Korpel, had already appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Thursday, January 10 on charges of dealing in drugs, he said.

Earlier in the week, a 47-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman were arrested separately, also after being found in possession of drugs during routine investigations.

"The woman had swallowed several synthetic "bullets" containing cocaine. The suspect had arrived from Sao Paolo to ORTIA on 8 January 2019 in transit to Windhoek. Raquel Mukoko has since appeared in court twice and her case was postponed to 21 January 2019 for her to secure an attorney. She remains in custody," Mogale said. 

The 47-year-old man was meant to depart for Frankfurt in Germany when he was stopped at the check-in counter following intelligence being received. His luggage was searched and among his clothing, parcels containing drugs were discovered. The suspect, Ali Ahmed Camaley, was arrested and had also already appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court.

"The multi-disciplinary approach into safety and security at OR Tambo International Airport continues to yield results. This interdepartmental co-operation with ACSA [Airports Company South Africa] and other stakeholders overseen by the Natjoints has been established to root out criminals and criminality at OR Tambo International Airport.

"The community is encouraged to call Crime Stop on 08600-10111 with useful information that can assist in combating of crime. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with strictest confidence," Mogale said.

African News Agency/ANA