SARS makes “massive” mandrax, cocaine busts


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has made massive busts of viagra, mandrax and cocaine worth an estimated total value of R48.8 million.

“In just under one week, SARS customs has uncovered massive amounts of viagra, mandrax and cocaine in four separate busts with an estimated total value of R48.8 million,” said the revenue service on Monday.

According to SARS, on Sunday night a member of the Lebombo detector dog unit discovered R3 million worth of mandrax hidden in a truck entering South Africa from Mozambique, reports official government news agency SANews.

After searching the truck, six bags weighing 25 kilograms were found hidden in the truck. The packages were immediately tested and it was found to contain the drug methaqualone (also known as mandrax). A total 66 000 mandrax tablets were uncovered.

The driver was arrested and a case of possession of narcotics was opened against him.

In a separate incident, a woman was found to have concealed more than 4 kilograms of cocaine in books, which were in her check-in luggage at OR Tambo International Airport on Saturday.

The drugs are valued at over R1.2 million and the woman is expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court today.

These incidents follow the discovery of 401 000 viagra tablets on Thursday, at the airport.
“In what is the largest viagra bust at the airport, customs officials discovered 24 boxes weighing 481 kilograms. A full inspection of the boxes led to the discovery of 199 800 Zenegra (which have the same ingredients as viagra) and 210 200 viagra tablets with an estimated value of R40.1 million.”

Marking a successful week, customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport uncovered approximately 15.3 kilograms of cocaine hidden in a passenger’s luggage on Wednesday.

Further investigations revealed that the substance was pure cocaine with a street value of R4.4 million.
“These busts are significant seizures and are a result of ever improving systems, process enhancements and a renewed commitment to combating organised crime and illicit trade activities introduced by SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane upon taking office.
“SARS will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime.”