JOHANNESBURG, Acting on intelligence, police have arrested a woman and seized a bag containing rhino horns at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport on Wednesday.
During a joint operation by various stakeholders, including the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Customs and Excise officials of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the teams identified and intercepted the specified suitcase at the luggage transfer area of the airport’s international terminal.
“It has been established from the preliminary investigations that the suitcase contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20 kilogrammes. It arrived from Lusaka, Zambia, and was destined for Hong Kong via a SAA (South African Airways) 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 under the Endangered Species Act soon.
Naidoo said the intensified collaborative efforts to curb criminality within and around OR 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 agencies in the area had 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 which follows people departing from the airport and subsequently rob them.
No other reports of people being followed from the airport and being robbed have been reported since.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK