Rhino horn smuggler stopped at OR Tambo
The male suspect was on his way from Johannesburg to Malaysia. He tried to conceal the suspicious objects by wrapping them in foil, and hiding them amongst sweets and tea boxes. However, airport officials were quick to notice the irregular packages, and sure enough, that’s when the Hawks swooped in.
The crime busting agents sped to the scene, and identified two luggage bags containing the rhino horn. The booming illegal ivory trade between South Africa and Asia has a damning impact on our wildlife populations.
SAPS, Hawks act fast
Nonetheless, this 40-year-old crook will be processed in court on Thursday, and he remains in police custody. A string of charges have already been filed against him, and the police received high praise for their quick response. SAPS went on to issue a full statement on the matter, revealing the moments leading up to the arrest:
“A 40-year-old man is expected to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates’ court tomorrow for contravention of the NEMBA Act and illegal dealing in rhino horns. It is alleged that the suspect was about to board a Qatar Airways flight to Malaysia yesterday when authorities discovered suspicious objects in his luggage at a check-in point.”
“Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation in Germiston responded to the crime scene. Upon arrival police discovered five rhino horns wrapped in a foil, concealed in sweets and green tea boxes. A further investigation directed authorities to the airplane where the suspect’s second luggage was dispatched.”
“The investigation team discovered six more rhino horns. The suspect was immediately arrested and charged. Investigation continues and more charges cannot be ruled out.”
Hawks nabbed alleged rhino horns smuggler at the OR Tambo International https://t.co/EHiP26U2iM #ArriveAlive #RhinoHorns #Smuggler #Hawks pic.twitter.com/eqR2vrTcuI
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) February 2, 2022