South Africa arrests two persons smuggling $500K to Dubai

South Africa’s Revenue Service has arrested two persons after $568,489 (R6.7m) of undeclared currency was seized in baggage checked-in for a flight from Johannesburg to Dubai.

“Customs Officials at OR Tambo International Airport intercepted two passengers travelling to Dubai as they were about to board their flight [on Thursday],” the SA Revenue Service’s acting spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi said on Sunday.

An inspection of their checked-in luggage found numerous brown envelopes stuffed with a total of US $568 480 in various denominations, placed in between clothing items.

The passengers were taken to the police station and a criminal case has been opened.

Mkosi said further details about the passengers could not be revealed at this stage, as the case was “very sensitive”.

The interception was part of ongoing, “wider investigations” into a syndicate, he said.

Dubai is renowned for apparently being a tax haven.

The city has most recently been linked to the controversial Gupta family, and a News24 investigation in 2017 uncovered a convoluted network of shell companies that the family used to conduct business there.