A Zimbabwean woman has been arrested at Cape Town International Airport after she was found in possession of illicit drugs worth over R1,8 million stashed in her luggage. According to the South African Police Services (SAPS) website, the woman, aged 27, from Hillbrow was arrested on Saturday morning on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport.
“This (Saturday) morning members from Border Police based at Cape Town International Airport arrested a Zimbabwean woman from Hillbrow, Johannesburg, after she landed in Cape Town at 10am on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport,” SAPS said.
“After passengers had collected their luggage from the carousel the Border Police members conducted random searches. Members found 8,1 kg of Tik with an estimated street value of R1, 822 million in the woman’s suitcase. She is due to appear in the Bellville Magistrates Court on drug related charges.” Tik is a South African nickname for the drug methamphetamine and it is an illegal drug in the same class as cocaine and other dangerous street drugs
Methamphetamine is a white crystalline drug that people take by inhaling through the nose, smoking it or injecting it with a needle. Some even take it orally but all develop a strong desire to continue using it because the drug creates a false sense of happiness and well-being — a rush (strong feeling) of confidence, hyper-activeness and energy. One also experiences decreased appetite. These drug effects generally last from six to eight hours but can last up to 24 hours.
The first experience might involve some pleasure but from the start methamphetamine begins to destroy the user’s life. In January last year South African police arrested two women, a Zimbabwean and one from Lesotho, for attempting to smuggle 28kg of illicit drugs worth R8 million (almost $800 000) into that country through Beitbridge Border Post.
Memory Mapurisa (39) (Zimbabwean) and Vuyiswa Mabaso (23) (from Lesotho) were intercepted by a patrol team comprising customs and police officers on a Sunday night. Mapurisa was found with 18kg of ephedrine while her accomplice, Mabaso had 10kg of the same drug. Ephedrine is “a precursor chemical that can be used to make amphetamine-type substances such as heroin.”
The suspects were arrested while walking across the bridge from Zimbabwe into South Africa after they were stopped and searched by members from the South African Revenue Services who found the drug-like substance.
The smuggling of drugs, explosives and cigarettes has become rife at the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa, a situation that has forced authorities from both countries to scale up joint patrols. Last year South African authorities intercepted 80kg of cocaine worth R23 million that was about to be smuggled into that country in a haulage truck.