Airline crew held over ‘cocaine haul’


The entire crew of a South African Airways flight was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

It is the second time in a fortnight that an airline crew has been detained at Heathrow.

The 15 members of the flight crew, including the pilot, were being held by officers after five kilos of a substance thought to be cocaine with and estimated street value of £250,000 pounds was allegdly discovered in a bag.

The crew was trying to clear customs at London’s Heathrow Airport following a 12-hour flight from Johannesburg when they were stopped and searched.

Bob Gaiger, spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs, said the alleged drugs were discovered after the crew were selected for a customs’ check as they entered the UK on Monday.

“Crew members are subject to the same customs checks as any other person when entering the UK,” he said.

“Those arrested are now being held in custody and will be interviewed by HMRC investigation officers.”

It was the second time in four weeks that an entire crew from a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg to Heathrow had been arrested.

On January 21 10 women and five men from a Johannesburg to London flight were arrested after £310,000 pounds worth of cannabis and cocaine were seized.

They were bailed to return to Heathrow Police Station on March 23.