SAA crew members arrested at Heathrow

Fifteen South African Airways (SAA) crew members were arrested at Heathrow in London on Monday for possession of illegal goods, the airways said.

Spokesperson Robyn Chalmers said three cockpit and 12 cabin crew of flight SA234 from Johannesburg to London were detained by authorities after “contraband” was found in the crew bus at the airport.

“This comes after last month’s incident where SAA crew members were arrested in London following the discovery of illegal contraband on the crew bus,” Chalmers said.

On January 20, British officials found 50kg of dagga and 4kg of cocaine in three suitcases (collectively worth approximately £300 000) belonging to SAA employees.

SAA tightened existing security measures following the incident, including changing security systems, conducting physical searches of bags and using dogs.

“An investigation in Johannesburg, involving SAA aviation security and the South African Police Service crime intelligence unit is also under way to establish how security procedures were breached,” Chalmers said, adding that the company was cooperating fully with British investigation authorities.

“SAA remains committed to a zero-tolerance approach towards the use of the airline’s services for any criminal activity and will continue to closely monitor the situation going forward,” she said.—Sapa

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