Picture: luctheo / Pixabay

Johannesburg - The Department of Environmental affairs on Friday welcomed the arrest of a man at the OR Tambo International Airport for the possession of 30 kilograms of rhino horn.

The department said the man attempted to smuggle the 22 rhino horns from South Africa to the Far East.

"The 38-year-old man from Gauteng was reportedly travelling to Vietnam via United Arab Emirates when he was arrested at the airport on Tuesday, by members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit," department spokesman Albi Modise said

"The 22 rhino horns were found stashed in the suspect’s luggage."

The man has been charged for the illegal possession of rhino horns and contravening environmental laws.

"The Hawks are to be congratulated for the latest arrest of an alleged rhino horn smuggler," said Modise.

Members of the public were urged to contact the department's hotline on 0800 205 005 or 10111 to report poaching and environmental crimes.

African News Agency/ANA