SARS seizes 80kg cocaine at Beit Bridge

Pretoria 7 December 2013 80kg cocaine seized at Beit Bridge.

SARS can confirm that the Customs team at Beit Bridge border post yesterday (6 December) seized its biggest ever shipment of cocaine as it was being smuggled into the country. At least 80kg cocaine, valued at over R23 million, was concealed in an "empty" truck attempting to enter South Africa from Zimbabwe having started its trip in Malawi.

The truck had been identified for closer searches, and had been moved out of the processing queue to be checked. Inside the truck's cabin, the Customs team found bags containing wrapped, A4-sized parcels which the driver claimed held clothing belonging to him. However, initial inspection indicated the parcels contained a soft powdered substance.

After a full physical search, the team had found 100 A4 parcels weighting 800g, each containing smaller packages of a white powder. SARS Customs Detector Dog alco was called in and reacted positively for narcotics. The powder was then confirmed as cocaine by chemical testing. This is the single biggest seizure of cocaine ever at Beit Bridge.

The drugs, truck and driver have all been handed over to the SAPS for further action.

SARS would like to emphasise that this seizure demonstrates the Customs team's determination to ensure that no gap is allowed through which illegal goods can be smuggled into South Africa. This is especially important as all of South Africa's borders become busier in the next few weeks, as a result of increased travel during the festive season.

Source: SARS (http://www.sars.gov.za/Media/MediaReleases/Pages/7-December-2013---SARS-seizes-80kg-cocaine-at-Beit-Bridge.aspx)