Gold bars with a street value of R61 million were seized at OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday. These gold bars were found with three suspects who were later apprehended. This arrest comes after gold weighing 73.5 kg was found in their hand luggage.
Police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe confirmed that theairport security was alerted to the gold through scanners.
“A multi-disciplinary team consisting of the South African Police Service, the South African Revenue Service customs officials, Port Health officials and officials from the Department of Home Affairs pounced on the trio at the international arrival terminals,”
“Upon questioning of the suspects and further inspection of their hand luggage, officials discovered the gold bars and some foreign currency,” she said.
She said that investigations are also underway by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) with the assistance of Interpol with authorities from various countries.
“Both the gold bars and foreign currency have been seized for further investigation under the Customs and Excise Act and the Exchange Control Regulation. The suspects have been detained and the matter has been taken over by the SAPS Organised Crime Unit for criminal investigations,”
The trio suspected smugglers are due to appear before the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court soon. They are facing charges of dealing with precious metal and contravention of the Customs Act.