On July 14 SA Revenue Service (Sars) officials at OR Tambo International Airport (Ortia) discovered 41 pieces of rhino horn valued at R115.66 million in a consignment declared as “fine art”.
During an inspection of warehouses at Ortia, one of the Customs teams, aided by detector dogs, detected and intervened to stop a consignment of goods destined for Kuala Lumpur via Doha.
During a physical inspection of the consignment, Customs officials discovered six boxes containing 41 pieces of rhino horn, which had been concealed in carbon paper and foil and wrapped in traditional material.
The South African Police Services’ Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) was alerted about the detection. A criminal case was registered with the SAPS for further investigation.
On the same day during the warehouse inspections, Customs officials discovered abalone valued at close to R1 million, destined for Hong Kong, and ephedrine, valued at R600 000, which had been hidden in two printer cartridges and destined for Madagascar.
Story by: Riaan de Lange