60-year-old woman arrested with R400 000 worth of dagga at OR Tambo Airport

“Upon opening the luggage, eight blocks (weighing 1kg each) of compressed dagga were found between her clothes.”

A 60-year-old woman, suspected of being a drug mule, was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) with dagga worth about R400 000.

On Sunday, the Germiston Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI) team of the Hawks received information from the Crime Intelligence Gathering (CIG) head office regarding a suspected drug mule who was about to board at ORTIA.

The Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale, said the information was operationalised, and the identified suspect had already checked in when the team arrived.

“The passenger was located in the smoking lounge while her luggage was intercepted at the boarding gate. Upon opening the luggage, eight blocks (weighing 1kg each) of compressed dagga were found between her clothes,” said Mogale.

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Mogale said the woman’s cell phone was also confiscated for further investigation.

The suspect will appear n the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on charges of dealing in illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday, two women, aged 40 and 41, were arrested in two separate incidents for selling drugs in Scottsville and Eikendal, Western Cape.

The first suspect, 41, from Scottsville, was found with nine packets of tik, and the Eikendal suspect, 40, was found with 186 mandrax tablets and 15 packets of tik.

Drug mule sentenced to 15 years

On 20 September 2022, a drug mule, Cavalcante Amarante, 28, was sentenced for drug smuggling by the Bellville Regional Court after entering into a plea agreement with the state.

Amarante was arrested on 21 February 2022, by the Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) after she was caught at Cape Town International Airport when authorities received information about a drug contrabandist travelling from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Cape Town via Qatar Airlines.

Cocaine weighing 2.7 kilograms as well as 200 grams of heroin worth R870 000 were concealed in her luggage and shoes.

She was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for dealing in drugs in terms of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act. Amarante is serving eight years of direct imprisonment.

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