Wed, 24 Jul 2019

Viagra, knock off clothes, cannabis oil and even cash are among items valued at R3.6bn bust by customs officials in the last financial year, the South African Revenue Services (SARS) said on Thursday.

According to their tally of confiscated items that are prohibited between April 1 2018 and March 31 2019, the number of busts increased to 6 828 from 4 840 from the previous year, and the value of the busts has increased to R3 694 742 928 from R2 461 425 369.

These are some of the items they found:

- Narcotics: 892 busts valued at R535 132 535;

- Cigarettes: 220 busts valued at R50 252 520;

- CITES species (including endangered species such as abalone): 43 busts valued at R42 224 372. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora is an international agreement on trade that does not threaten the survival of wildlife, plants and animals;

- Currency: 14 busts valued at R64 986 630;

- Viagra and Viagra Generics: 170 busts valued at R69 280 100 (SARS said the generic Viagra came from India and Hong Kong and was seized at OR Tambo International Airport in three different busts);

- Counterfeit clothing, footwear and other goods: 1 526 busts valued at R2 710 118 775;

- Clothing and textiles (second-hand and other infringements): 407 busts valued at R7 988 166;

- Alcohol: 298 busts valued at R18 430 752;

- Cannabis oil worth R300 000 000 en route from Canada to South Africa was seized at Durban Harbour;

READ: Only 56 people in SA are legally using cannabis meds - and everyone else is taking a risk, regulators say

- Acetanthranil (a Mandrax precursor) worth around R45 000 000, en route from Hong Kong to South Africa was seized at OR Tambo International Airport;

- Shark fins, worth around R7 200 000, en route from Brazil via South Africa to Hong Kong, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport;

- Abalone, with an estimated value of R8 960 000, en route from Cape Town to Johannesburg, was seized at City Deep in Johannesburg;

- Rhino horn, with an estimated value of R23 200 000, en route from South Africa to Dubai, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport;

- US Dollars equivalent to R9 460 500, en route from South Africa to Hong Kong, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on September 11 2018;

- US Dollars equivalent to R13 798 882, en route from South Africa to Dubai, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on February 25 2019; and

- US Dollars equivalent to R14 298 360, en route from Angola via South Africa and Dubai to China, was seized at OR Tambo International Airport on December 30 2018.

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