South African Revenue Services (Sars) custom officials have confiscated almost R2m in foreign currency hidden in the luggage of a man heading to Dubai from Cape Town International Airport.

“After receiving a tip-off from Customs officials at OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia), the man was stopped by Customs officials and members of the Detector Dog Unit as he was about to embark on the flight to Dubai,” Sars Chief Officer: Customs and Excise, Teboho Mokoena, said in a statement.

Mokoena said one of the detector dogs had reacted positively to the luggage and the bag was opened up and searched.

Customs officials then discovered 10 packets of currency hidden between the man’s clothing, totalling $156 850 (about R1 946 802).

The case – for failure to declare money when departing the country – was handed over to the SAPS for further investigation.

“As part of our integrated operations, the possible smuggling of currency was successfully detected by our officers,” said Mokoena.

“We have noticed recently that passengers who normally use Ortia to try and take out currency, have started rerouting via other ports. This is why it is important that all of our units work closely together to prevent this from happening.

“I would like to commend the cooperation amongst the different divisions within Customs which led to this successful bust.”

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