With the security in airports becoming increasingly tighter with each passing day, it is hard to imagine that anyone would still try to sneak illegal substances into their luggage. Apparently, though, this fact still does not deter some people.
If allegations are to be believed, an entire crew of South African Airlines tried to sneak in 50 kg of cannabis and 4 kg of cocaine into London last Tuesday. The substances were found in the luggage tagged as crew luggage of that flight, although it is reported that none of the accused crew members – which included five women and ten men from both the flight and cabin crew – admitted to owning the bags.
They were detained by British authorities after the substances were seized, but were released shortly thereafter without charges pressed against them. They will all be allowed to go home but will be called back to the United Kingdom. They have been instructed to report to the Heathrow police on March 23.
Officials of South African Airlines are very concerned about the incident and are launching a full internal investigation, presumably on how the illegal drugs made it onto their flight. More importantly, they will most probably be figuring out how crew members were implicated in this fiasco.
SAA is also closely working with Johannesburg authorities on how security measures at the Tambo International Airport were breached.
Cannabis is a flowering plant with three species, the most familiar among them being Cannabis sativa. While it has industrial and medicinal uses, its association with marijuana and drug abuse has placed it in a bad light. It is for this reason that cultivating and possessing cannabis is considered illegal in most countries.
This is not a new case for SAA, however. In 2006, a former air hostess for the SAA was caught trying to smuggle the same two illegal substances into the UK. Prior to that incident, it is reported that there have been seven similar cases brought against SAA crew since the year 2000.