The pungent smell of imported dried fish in a storage shed at OR Tambo International Airport bothered airport staff so much it led to the discovery of 100 kg of crystal meth worth about R30-million hidden in the cargo unloading area.
SARS spokesman Sandile Memela said staff members were overwhelmed by the unpleasant odor and suspected the smell was being used to mask contraband. They called customs officials to track down the smelly consignment. The SA Revenue Service officials located the stinking load of loose dried fish and found several three-liter vegetable oil cans hidden among it.
Inside the cans was the crystal meth with an estimated street value of R30-million.
Customs officials used a portable lab kit to determine whether the substance inside the cans was crystal meth.
The substance‚ referred to as in “tik” in the Western Cape‚ is one of the most commonly abused drugs in Cape Town.
The cargo had come from Cameroon via Istanbul‚ Turkey.
Tik is usually smoked using a light bulb. It gives users a rush of energy‚ but addicts can become aggressive and psychotic. Memela said police were investigating.