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SA woman held as over 12 pieces of rhino horn seized at OR Tambo International Airport

RHINO horns seized at OR Tambo International Airport. l SUPPLIED

RHINO horns seized at OR Tambo International Airport. l SUPPLIED

Published Apr 29, 2022

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JOHANNESBURG – Luggage bags carrying more than 12 pieces of rhino horn was intercepted by law enforcement officials at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday (Friday).

The interception of the horns, which weighed 30.7 kilograms, was conducted by Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), in collaboration with other government departments. They had received a tip-off regarding a passenger travelling to Dubai.

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The luggage belonged to a female South African passenger who arrived in Johannesburg from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“The Customs team reacted swiftly and accompanied the female passenger to the Customs area for further Customs inspection,” SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said.

RHINO horns seized at OR Tambo International Airport. l SUPPLIED

He added that the two luggage bags and a box were inspected by a baggage scanner that identified irregular images suspected to be rhino horn.

“This led to a physical inspection of the luggage and box in which 12 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 30.7kg were found.”

The woman, as well as the rhino horns, have since been handed over to the police and the matter will be investigated further.

RHINO horns seized at OR Tambo International Airport. l SUPPLIED.

Kieswetter said that between July 2020 and December 2021, a total of 125 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 452kg, were seized at OR Tambo International Airport.

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“We will leave no stone unturned to detect and prosecute these criminal syndicates and individuals who break the law,” he said.

“SARS and the law enforcement agencies will spare no efforts to ensure they are brought to book.”

The Saturday Star

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