South African Police Service (SAPS) on Monday said they arrested three suspects who tried to smuggle gold weighing 73.5 kg worth R61 million (4.2 million U.S. dollars).
The police said the trio were arrested with gold as well as foreign currency in their hand luggage at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport international arrival terminals.
“The trio had just flown into South Africa from Madagascar and was en-route to Dubai via Ethiopia last week when they were apprehended. Upon questioning of the suspects and further inspection of their hand luggage, officials discovered the gold bars and some foreign currency,” said police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe.
She said the gold bars and foreign currency of an undisclosed amount have been seized for further investigation.
The matter has been taken over by the SAPS organized crime unit for criminal investigations. The SAPS has been liaising with Interpol and authorities from various countries to determine the legitimacy of the certification papers provided by the three suspects.