Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

A passenger travelling from Zambia via Johannesburg to Asia has been caught with rhino horns. The bust was made at OR Tambo International Airport by police and customs officials.

Her suitcase was intercepted at the luggage transfer area of the international terminal within the central terminal building‚ the South African Police Service said in a statement. "Immediately after the detection of the suitcase‚ the passenger was identified and escorted to the search area. The bag was scanned and then physically searched confirming that it did, indeed, contain pieces of rhino horn. It has been established from the preliminary investigations that the suitcase contained 11 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 20kg."

The bag arrived from Lusaka‚ Zambia‚ destined for Hong Kong via a South African Airways flight. The suspect is a woman who is currently in police custody. She will face charges related to the Endangered Species Act.

"The intensified collaborative efforts to curb criminality within and around the OR Tambo International Airport are proving to be very successful‚" said Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo. "Since the implementation of our revised strategies, the team foiled a brazen robbery at the cargo terminal of the airport. Last week the team‚ as part of our proactive measures‚ identified a vehicle with four armed men suspected to be part of a group that follows people from the airport and subsequently robs them. Also we have not had any reports of people being followed from the airport and robbed."

He further confirmed that both the proactive and reactive measures are proving to be effective and they will continue to find new, innovative ways to remain a step ahead of the criminals.

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