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Five suspects arrested at ORTIA for Drug Trafficking

Media Statement
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation


GAUTENG - Five suspects were arrested in a highly coordinated operation spearheaded by the HAWKS since this morning, 15 November 2023 at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) on allegations of drug trafficking, contravention of the Civil Aviation Act and contravention of the Customs and Excise Act after a large drugs consignment was recently confiscated in Australia and two suspects arrested.

This is subsequent to an intelligence driven operation by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation following allegations that these suspects are employees of various companies at ORTIA where they are said to be facilitating the thoroughfare of drugs coming into and out of the airport.  Two suspects employed by ACSA, two suspects from Menzies Aviation and one from Swissport were arrested as a result.

The suspects will be appearing in the Kempton Park Magistrates court on Friday, 17 November 2023.  This is a first operation of its kind in relation to transnational drug trafficking perpetrated through ORTIA, where a drug seizure made abroad was positively linked to suspects in South Africa for their complicity.

The Provincial Head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major General Ebrahim Kadwa, applauded the joint investigation team for their concerted effort in ridding the airport with unsavoury characters tarnishing the name of ORTIA and the country. The Hawks is totally committed to countering drug trafficking and would like to send a strong message to corrupt officials in such companies to not get involved in facilitating such illicit activities.


Colonel Katlego Mogale
082 455 5782