Suspected drug mules to appear in court

Three suspected drug mules will appear before the Kempton Park Magistrate Court this morning after they were arrested on Saturday for drug trafficking at the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA).

The three — two men and a woman — were nabbed during an integrated multi-disciplinary operation at the ORTIA.

In a statement, police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said: In the first incident, members from the South African Police Service, South African Revenue Service, ACSA and ORTIA Security acted on intelligence and intercepted a man and a woman at approximately 9.30am as they arrived from South America.

The woman, he said, was carrying over 21 kilograms of a substance suspected to be cocaine in her check-in luggage, and also of 4 kilograms of a substance suspected to be cocaine, which she had strapped around her waist and chest.

Meanwhile, the Hawks acted on information and intercepted a 49-year-old Brakpan man as he was about to depart to Hong Kong on the 11.30am flight.

The man was found with over five kilograms of cocaine, which was also strapped around his waist and chest, he said.

This is the second time in less than a month that an alleged drug mule travelling to Hong Kong with cocaine is 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.

Since 1 January 2019 to date, the joint team secured an average of 20 drug busts per month, including parcels coming through Mail Centre, via courier companies, as well as an average of one drug mule per week arrested at ORTIA alone, Naidoo said.

These drug successes, he said, are an indication of the capacity and capabilities the joint security forces have 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,” said Naidoo.

He said it was 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.

Source: South African Government News Agency