Woman Caught Smuggling Rhino Horns Thro’ OR Tambo Airport

Acting on intelligence, police have arrested a woman and seized a bag containing rhino horns at the O R Tambo International Airport on Wednesday.

During a joint operation by various stakeholders, including South African Police Service (SAPS) and Customs and Excise officials, the teams identified and intercepted the specified suitcase at the luggage transfer area of the international terminal.

“It has been established from the preliminary investigations that the suitcase contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20 kilograms.

“It arrived from Lusaka, Zambia and was destined for Hong Kong via a SAA flight,” police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.

The suspect is a 24-year-old woman, who is currently in police custody. She will be facing charges in terms of the Endangered Species Act. She is due to appear in court soon.

Naidoo said the intensified collaborative efforts to curb criminality within and around the O R Tambo International Airport are proving to be very successful.

“Both the proactive and reactive measures are proving to be effective and we will continue to find new innovative ways to remain a step ahead of the criminals.”

Since the implementation of the revised strategies, law enforcement forces in the area has foiled a brazen robbery at the cargo terminal of the airport.

Last week, the team, as part of proactive measures, identified a vehicle with four armed men suspected to be part of a group that follows people from the airport and subsequently rob them.

No other reports of people being followed from the airport and being robbed have been reported since. – SAnews.gov.za