The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has intercepted currency worth R6.7 million from leaving the country’s borders.
“Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport intercepted two passengers travelling to Dubai as they were about to board their flight. Upon inspection of their checked luggage, brown envelopes containing US Dollars in their various denominations were found inside,” said the revenue service of Thursday’s bust.
The undeclared currency totalling $568 480 with an estimated value of R6.7 million was counted in the presence of the suspects.
The money was detained by customs and both passengers were escorted to the airport police station where a criminal case was registered for failure to declare as well as currency smuggling.
International Customs Day
Meanwhile, customs organisations around the world honoured men and women who protect their respective country’s borders on International Customs Day (ICD) on Friday.
SARS hosted its leg of the programme at the newly refurbished State Warehouse in Cape Town, with Commissioner Tom Moyane, delivering the keynote address.
“Customs can contribute to a fair and sustainable environment by being consistent and tackling activities such as intellectual property infringements, smuggling to avoid payment of duties and the deliberate misdeclaration of the value and origin of goods,” said Commissioner Moyane.
Commissioner Moyane said the revenue service would strive to ensure that they continue to be recognised as a world-class customs service and that they contribute to improving South Africa’s trade and economic competiveness.
He said measures such as the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index already recognised South Africa’s effectiveness in this regard, and SARS would seek to improve on this, he said.
The theme for this year’s ICD 2018, which is chosen by the World Customs Organisation is “A Secure business environment for economic development”.
The additional points raised on the day include the introduction of customs legislation through the New Customs Acts Programme (NCAP), which will fundamentally change operations at the revenue service.
NCAP is one of the biggest projects in SARS currently, with the roadmap for its implementation extending to 2025.