SAA crew freed on bail after London drug haul

January 22nd, 2009 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 21 (DPA) The entire crew of a South African Airways (SAA) airliner was freed on bail by British investigators Wednesday following the discovery of large amounts of drugs in baggage, customs authorities at London’s Heathrow airport said.The 10 women and five men, including the plane’s captain and co-pilot, were questioned over the seizure of cannabis and cocaine estimated to be worth a total of 310,000 pounds ($427,000) aboard the plane on its arrival from Johannesburg Tuesday.

Revenue and Customs spokesman Bob Gaiger said all 15 crewmembers were released on unconditional bail in the early hours of Wednesday. They were ordered to report to the authorities again March 23, pending further investigations.

No charges have so far been made.

“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,” said Gaiger.

According to customs officials 50 kg of cannabis and four kilograms of cocaine were found in three pieces of luggage after the plane touched down at London’s Heathrow airport early Tuesday.

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