During an integrated multi-disciplinary operation this morning, three drug mules, two men and a woman were arrested at the O. R. Tambo International Airport (ORTIA).
In the first incident, members from the South African Police Service, South African Revenue Services, ACSA and ORTIA Security acted on intelligence and intercepted a man and a woman as they arrived from South America at approximately 09:30am today. The woman was carrying over 21 kgs of a substance suspected to be cocaine in her check-in luggage and the man, over 4 kgs, also of a substance suspected to be cocaine which he had strapped around his waist and chest.
In the meantime, while these two suspects were being processed, the Hawks acted on information and intercepted a 49 year old Brakpan man at approximately 11am at ORTIA just as he was to depart to Hong Kong on the 11:30 flight. The man was found with a little over 5 kilograms of cocaine which was also strapped around his waist and chest.
This is the second time in less than a month that an alleged drug mule travelling to Hong Kong with cocaine was intercepted at ORTIA. On 12 January this year Fiona Kruger was intercepted and arrested at the airport after she was also found in possession of cocaine.
All four of these alleged drug mules were either booked to travel business class or travelled business class.
In fact between 1 January 2019 and 30 August 2019 more than 20 drug mules were intercepted and arrested and approximately 10 parcels containing drugs were intercepted at the mail center at O R Tambo International Airport alone.
These drug successes are an indication of the capacity and capabilities of the joint security forces to decisively deal with the numerous attempts to use ORTIA as a thoroughfare for drug smuggling. This clearly negates recent media reports that "drug smugglers pass through O R Tambo International Airport undetected". It is also important to note that neither the SAPS nor any other department that forms part of the joint operational team at ORTIA has been contacted for comment or confirmation in those recent media reports.
The three suspects arrested today will be charged with dealing in drugs and they are expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Monday, 10 February 2020.
We continue to appeal to anyone with information to contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111 or information can be channelled through the MySAPSApp. All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous.
Source: South African Police Service