Crackdowns by South African customs officers have forced transnational smuggling networks to change their modus operandi in a bid to outwit the law. Criminals are now focusing their attention on spiriting fewer but more high-value items across the country’s borders‚ particularly through airports‚ according to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Fewer goods were seized in the first six months of 2017 compared with first-half 2016. However‚ the value of those goods increased from nearly R650m to more than R1bn. In one recent big bust‚ customs officers seized R6m worth of rhino horn when they became suspicious of a bag belonging to a passenger bound for Hong Kong from OR Tambo International Airport. The recovery‚ on Wednesday last week‚ was made four days after SARS officials discovered 10 rhino horns‚ valued at nearly R5m‚ hidden inside two bags at the airport. The recoveries follow the previous week’s seizure of R1.4m worth of counterfeit designer clothes stored at the airport....

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