Sars intercepts rhino horn worth R23m


South African Revenue Service (Sars) yesterday intercepted a consignment of rhino horns worth over R23 million at OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia).

The 36 pieces were found after “Lizzy”, a detector dog, reacted positively to a consignment of so-called ‘decoration items’ in a warehouse. Customs officials cut open eight boxes attached with bubble wrap. The horns, destined for Dubai, were hidden underneath cut laminated wooden sheets in four of the boxes which were filled with doormats and decorative items.

The total weight of the horns was 116kg, valued at an approximately R23 200 000. The street value of these horns is assumed to be much higher.  

The inspection at the warehouse formed part of an initiative to increase enforcement activities on cargo for outbound flights following recent reports that rhino horn, originating from South Africa, had been detected in the Far East. This initiative is continuing.

The South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) were alerted, and a criminal case was registered with SAPS, DPCI (Hawks) for further investigation.

 


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