brazilian cocaine

A 29-year-old alleged drug mule was arrested at OR Tambo. Image: Pixabay.

Brazilian drug smuggler nabbed with cocaine at OR Tambo Airport

Garcia Fortes Mariah Carvalho is the second Brazilian woman to be caught at OR Tambo with cocaine since October. Both women came via Qatar.

brazilian cocaine

A 29-year-old alleged drug mule was arrested at OR Tambo. Image: Pixabay.

Another alleged drug mule was busted while attempting to bring cocaine into South Africa via OR Tambo International Airport. The 29-year-old woman was arrested on Sunday, 27 November.


The Directorate for Priority Investigations (Hawks) said Garcia Fortes Mariah Carvalho came to South Africa on a flight from Qatar.

“The arrest was conducted through an intelligence-driven operation where Carvalho was identified, and her luggage searched,” said Captain Lloyd Ramovha.

Approximately 1.5 kilograms of cocaine was found in the Brazilian’s luggage. The drugs were hidden in a false compartment and had a street value of around R500 000.

Carvalho appeared before the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 29 November, and the matter was postponed to Tuesday, 5 December, while her credentials were verified.

Carvalho’s arrest is similar to that of another Brazilian national, who was arrested at the same airport with cocaine worth R1.4 million on 15 October.

The South African previously reported that the suspect brought the consignment of drugs from Brazil via Qatar.

READ MORE: Woman arrested for trying to smuggle cocaine worth R1.4m into SA

Earlier this year, the Bellville Magistrate’s Court sentenced Brazilian Cavalcante Amarante to eight years of direct imprisonment for drug smuggling.

“The woman was caught with 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and 200 grams of heroin concealed in her luggage and shoes. The drugs were worth an estimated R870 000.

“Amarante was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for dealing in drugs in terms of the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act. Seven years of her sentence was suspended for a period of five years,” said Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani.

READ MORE: Woman who smuggled R870k in drugs from Brazil sentenced to eight years