A 34 year old South African woman is under police custody in a Cape Town hospital after she was arrested earlier today for allegedly trying to smuggle a large quantity of cocaine into South Africa via the Cape Town International Airport.
The suspect, from Pretoria, was on a flight from Buenos Aires and was apprehended by officials from the SARS Customs Anti-Smuggling Team and members of the Organised Crime Unit of the South African Police Service this morning.
Upon her arrival in the Customs area the suspect was asked to fill in a declaration customs form. She appeared extremely nervous.
During a subsequent interview with Customs officials and police she allegedly admitted to swallowing 80 bullets of cocaine. The consignment, one of the largest quantities found on one individual at the airport, has an estimated street value of R1.9 million.
Today's arrest is the 9th successful cocaine detection for the Customs Anti-Smuggling Team at the airport in the past few months. The method of smuggling used in all but one of the seizures was passengers swallowing the drugs.
By midday today x-rays from the hospital confirmed that about 80 bullets of cocaine were in the suspect's stomach. She will remain under police guard in hospital until the drugs have been safely removed.
The suspect is likely to be charged with smuggling and will appear in court after her release from hospital.
For more information please contact Adrian Lackay on (012) 422 5035 or 083 388 2580
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE