- SARS confirmed that a shipment of illegal rhino horn originally bound for Malaysia and worth R53 million was intercepted and seized on Thursday, 4 February
- The contraband was uncovered at O.R. Tambo International Airport after the Customs Detector Dog Unit pointed out a suspicious shipment
- The package was scanned under X-ray and customs found 18 pieces of concealed rhino horn that was then handed over to the Hawks for further investigation
The South African Revenue Service has released a statement confirming that it intercepted a shipment containing R53 million worth of illegal rhino horn at O.R. Tambo International Airport on Thursday, 4 February.
The contraband was reportedly bound for Malaysia when the Customs Detector Dog Unit pointed out the shipment as being suspicious.
The package had apparently been marked under ‘HP Cartridges Developers’ before it went to be scanned under an X-ray to check the inner contents.
The South African Revenue Service released a statement detailing how officials then found a shipment of 18 pieces of rhino horn worth an astonishing R53 172 000.
The statement from SARS declared that:
"This is the fourth rhino horn bust by SARS Customs at the O.R.Tambo International Airport between July 2020 and February 2021. The overall weight of the rhino horn seized in these four cases is 277.30 kg with an estimated value of R 234 114 206.'
The contraband was then handed over to the Hawks for further investigation into the matter.
Commissioner Edward Kieswetter reportedly congratulated the Customs officers for their excellent work and Mzansi social media users added their takes too. One user congratulated the officers but was disheartened at the thought of the animals that had been poached:
@LB60967736: "Well done officers. Just devastating to think about what these evil people are doing to our animals."
In related news, Briefly.co.za reported on another bust that occurred at O.R. Tambo International after six people were arrested for smuggling medications.
A total of six Indian nationals were arrested at O.R Tambo airport while they were allegedly trying to smuggle in R6 million worth of Ivermectin and other medicines over the last week.
The suspects consist of two women and four men were taken in custody after the authorities executed three different sting operations at the airport.
It is believed that the medicines were intended for sale on the black market. The arrests took place in three stages, on the 26th of January two men were arrested in possession of Ivermectin tablets to the value of R552 550.
The second series of arrests took place on the 27th of January one man was arrested with a number of unregistered medicines. Finally, on the 28th, two women and one male were arrested in possession of R5 million worth of unregistered tablets.
"Three passengers from India have been arrested at @ortambo_int for possession of Ivermectin without @SAHPRA1 authorization. The men were found in possession of almost 200 000 tablets: value of about R5m."
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