South African customs officials discovered more than 26 kilograms (57 pounds) of cocaine in a bag at Johannesburg’s biggest airport in one of the country’s largest seizures of the drug.
The cocaine, valued at 7 million rand ($561,000) and weighing about the equivalent of an eight-year-old child, was discovered on Monday during a compulsory inspection at O.R. Tambo International Airport, the South African Revenue Service said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. The tag on the bag indicates the luggage was destined for London, the agency said.
“Experience gained from previous incidents suggests that the drugs could have originated from South America,” SARS said. “It is suspected that such shipments are brought into South Africa by one passenger, then handed over to another passenger on an onward flight to Europe or Africa.”
The narcotics have been handed over to the Organised Crime unit of the South African Police Service for further investigation.
The haul follows the discovery of 40,000 viagra tablets earlier Monday by customs officials at the Johannesburg International Mail Centre, SARS said. The pills, used to treat erectile dysfunction and sent from Hong Kong, were falsely declared as plastic toys.