SAA crew arrested over drugs haul at Heathrow

The pilot and entire crew of a South African Airways plane were arrested on Tuesday after 50kg of cannabis was found on a flight from Johannesburg to London’s Heathrow airport, customs officials said.

The drugs, worth £150 000 were found by officers of the UK Borders Agency (UKBA), said a
spokesperson for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The drugs were found in three pieces of baggage. Those arrested on the plane, which landed at London’s main airport at 8am, included both flight and cabin crew, he said.

“When the crew were passing through a customs clearance point ... the UKBA officers found a quantity of cannabis in three suitcases,” said spokesperson Bob Gaiger.

“As a result of that the entire crew of the plane were arrested and they’re now being held in custody and being interviewed by HMRC,” he added, confirming that the pilot was also among those detained.

“Interviews will be taking place and will probably go into tomorrow, and then we will decide whether we are going to charge anyone, or release some or all, on bail if necessary,” he added.

No further details were immediately available, but the spokesperson underlined how seriously British customs take such cases.

“HMRC, together with UKBA, play a vital role in the fight to prevent illegal drugs from entering the UK and in protecting our communities from the violence and corruption that always accompany this hideous
trade,” he said. - AFP

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