- Gold bars weighing 73.5kgs were seized from three people at OR Tambo International Airport on New Year’s Eve.
- The three had flown to South Africa from Madagascar.
- They are due in court where they face charges of dealing in precious metal and the contravention of the Customs Act.
Three people were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport after gold bars, with an estimated street value of R61 million, were found in their luggage.
National police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said that the three were arrested on New Year’s Eve after airport security alerted police that a scan of their luggage had revealed irregular objects.
“The trio had just flown into South Africa from Madagascar and were en route to Dubai via Ethiopia last week when they were apprehended. Upon questioning of the suspects and further inspection of their hand luggage, officials discovered the gold bars and some foreign currency,” said Mathe.
The gold, weighing 73.5kg, was seized along with the currency under the Customs and Excise Act and the Exchange Control Regulation.
READ 7 arrested, R8m in items seized from illegal gold processing refinery on West Rand
Mathe also said that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), with the assistance of Interpol, was investigating the matter to “determine the legitimacy of the certification papers as provided by the men and also to determine the country of origin where the gold was mined”.
“Investigations will also focus on which country the gold bars were destined for.”
The three are expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Monday where they face charges of dealing in precious metal and contravention of the Customs Act.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24’s 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.