South African Revenue Service (SARS) customs officials at Cape Town International Airport confiscated $156,850 (nearly R2-million) in currency, hidden in the luggage of a South African man en route to Dubai, the revenue collector said on Saturday.
Following a tip-off from customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the man was stopped by customs officials and members of the detector dog unit as he was about to embark on the flight to Dubai, SARS said in a statement.
One of the detector dogs reacted positively to the luggage and the bag was opened up and searched. Customs officials discovered 10 packets of currency hidden in the man’s clothing.
Police are investigating a case of failure to declare money when departing the country.
As part of our integrated operations, the possible smuggling of currency was successfully detected by our officers,” customs and excise chief officer Teboho Mokoena said in the statement.
“We have noticed recently that passengers who normally use OR (Tambo International Airport) to try and take out currency have started rerouting via other ports. This is why it is important that all of our units work closely together to prevent this from happening. I would like to commend the co-operation among the different divisions within customs which led to this successful bust,” Mokoena said.