Cabin crew arrested at Heathrow after £310,000 drug haul 'found in luggage'

The crew of a South African Airways flight were arrested after a drugs haul worth £310,000 was discovered in luggage after they landed at Heathrow.

All 15 - including the captain, first officer and air stewards - were held when customs officers found about 9lbs of cocaine and 110lbs of cannabis in three suitcases.

They had just arrived on a flight from Johannesburg.

The group, made up of ten women and five men, were stopped randomly as they entered through the flight crew clearance point.


15 members of staff from a South African Airways flight were arrested after £310,000-worth of drugs were discovered in their luggage (file picture)

The flight landed at 8am yesterday. The crew were held in cells at the airport overnight following interviews with Revenue and Customs officials before being bailed this morning.

Bob Gaiger, HM Revenue & Customs Heathrow spokesman, said: 'Officers from the flight deck were among the cabin crew arrested from the South African Airways flight.

'The drugs were found in suitcases as they were searched at the flight crew clearance point. At this stage it is unclear as to why they were searched.'

He added it was not immediately clear who the bags belonged to.

All 15 crew members were released on unconditional bail and are due to report back to HMRC investigators at Heathrow Police Station on March 23.

No charges have yet been made.

Mr Gaiger added: 'It's going to be a pretty intensive investigation trying to find out what went on and how the drugs came to be where we found them. Obviously we're still trying to establish ownership.

'HMRC together with the UK Border Agency 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.'

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