Police investigating two Nigerians, Israeli over $9.3 million cash seizure


Police are investigating two Nigerians and an Israeli citizen after they tried to bring in US$9.3 million (over R100 million) in cash into the country illegally, a spokesman said on Monday.

Some reports suggest the money could have been part of an arms deal.

The report comes after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized the money at Lanseria airport, northwest of Johannesburg. The money is currently being held at the central bank as police investigate, SARS spokeswoman Marika Muller said.

"The passengers' luggage was searched after Customs officials detected irregularities. The money was detained as it was undisclosed/undeclared and above the prescribed legal limit," Muller said in a statement.

According to one newspaper, bundles of unused US$100 bills packed in three suitcase were transported in a small business jet from the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

The three passengers said they were using it to buy arms for the Nigerian security services, the City Press said.

South African airport security spokesman Solomon Makgale confirmed a police investigation was underway but declined to give details.