A female student carrying almost R10 million in US currency in a plastic bag appeared in court Thursday, 13 September 2018, said the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
The woman appeared on charges of smuggling currency and failure to declare it.
The revenue service said the South African student was intercepted on a flight bound for Hong Kong on Tuesday at OR Tambo International Airport.
“The passenger, a South African female student, who had boarded with two bags as hand luggage, was then alighted with her luggage. Initially, she denied having currency in her possession but after further questioning, she admitted that she had a substantial amount of money in her backpack,” said SARS.
The money totalled $630,700 and was packed in 50 and 100 dollar bundles in a plastic bag.
Officers led her to the Customs search area, where she was placed in an interview room and requested to complete a traveller card. In the interview, the woman admitted that she was not the owner of the currency nor could she supply any proof of ownership.
“SARS remains appreciative of the constructive collaboration between Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), the South African Police Service (SAPS), Asset Forfeiture Unit and the State Security Agency (SSA), which is yielding positive results in the fight against the scourge of illicit financial flows,” said Acting Chief Officer of Customs and Excise Beyers Theron.