Narcotics worth approximately R9 million were intercepted at three ports over the weekend, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
In a statement on Monday, the revenue service said customs officials at the Lebombo border post in Mpumalanga received a tip-off from the South African Police Crime Intelligence about a suspicious vehicle.
The vehicle was stopped after the South African driver failed to report to customs.
“A thorough search by officials and detector dogs found a large number of bags containing white powdery and crystal-like substances hidden in compartments between the bodywork and load bin of the vehicle. Access to these compartments was provided through special modified trapdoors, secured with hinges,” said SARS.
Altogether 51 bags of ephedrine, each weighing about 1kg, with a street value of R3.7 million were seized. Fourteen bags of crystal meth, each weighing 1kg, valued at R4.2 million were also seized.
The driver was handed over to the South African Police Service (SAPS) at Lebombo.
In another incident, customs officials detained illicit narcotics from two separate flights arriving from Sao Paulo. In both cases, the drugs were left behind in the toilet of the aircraft after the passengers had disembarked.
In one case, a piece of cloth that looked like a sock was found containing 55 bullets of suspected cocaine, valued at R414 000. In the final case, customs officials found an abandoned small red backpack under the toilet’s dustbin.
A detector dog indicated that the bag contained drugs, which weighed 3kg, worth R891 000.
The narcotics at OR Tambo International Airport were handed over to the police for further investigation.