- A consignment of crushed rhino horn was intercepted by the Hawks at OR Tambo International Airport
- The rhino horn powder, which was hidden in what appeared to be boxes of chocolate bars, was en route to China
- Nkwalase said that the Hawks were informed by the airport's cargo section about the suspicious parcel
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JOHANNESBURG - A consignment of crushed rhino horn was intercepted by the Hawks at OR Tambo. The rhino horn powder, which was hidden in what appeared to be boxes of chocolate bars, was en route to China.
Lt-Col Philani Nkwalase, a Hawks spokesperson, said that a suspect who is 46 years old has been arrested in connection with this case and is scheduled to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on 28 December.
The suspect's arrest falls under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, TimesLIVE reports.
How the Hawks found out about the consignment
The smuggler had declared that the boxes contained Cadbury and Ferraro Rocher chocolates. however, when the Hawks investigated the boxes they found Lunch Bar chocolates and six rhino horn pieces.
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The Citizen reports that the Hawks also discovered a sum of money in the accused's car, which is thought to be payment for the operation.
Reactions to rhino horn smuggling
"Unfortunately stopping the final product doesn't stop the poaching. Poachers should be a "shoot to kill" effort."
"Are there no rhinos in China?"
"That’s a bit melodramatic, our police force is useless. It must have been a tip off."
"And the consignment will go to China soon before Jan 2022."
24 Rhinos killed across nature parks in SA in just 2 weeks
In other news about rhinos, Briefly News previously reported that at least 24 rhinos have fallen prey to poachers in various nature reserves and parks in South Africa in the past two weeks as the hot trend continues to rear its ugly head.
The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment confirmed that seven carcasses were found in the Kruger National Park, while another seven were discovered in Mpumalanga. Meanwhile, six carcasses were found in KwaZulu-Natal and four in the Western Cape.
However, it was not immediately clear if the poachers were part of a syndicate operating across provincial borders. A spokesperson for the department, Albi Modise, decried the actions of the poachers and confirmed that close to a dozen perpetrators have been arrested since the start of December.
Source: Briefly News