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Media Release: Customs officers make massive bust of rhino horn weighing 160kg

Media Release: Customs officers make massive bust of rhino horn weighing 160kg

Tshwane, 17 July 2021 – Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized 32 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 160kg, at a cargo transit shed at the OR Tambo International Airport earlier today.

The Customs officers were conducting manifest profiling with the Detector Dog Unit at the airport when one of the dogs identified a suspicious shipment destined to Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

The shipment was declared as “Live Plants” and consisted of 8 pieces. During physical inspection, 6 boxes were found containing traditional material concealing, 32 pieces of rhino horn protected with bubble wrap, weighing 160kg.

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.

The last rhino horn busts at ORTIA included:

  • February 2021: eighteen (18) pieces of rhino horn, weighing 63kg declared as ‘HP Cartridges Developers’, bound for Malaysia.
  • December 2020: seventeen (17) pieces of Rhino Horn weighing 72.4kg concealed in a geyser bound for Malaysia.
  • September 2020: six (6) pieces, weighing 4.9kg declared as “Coffee Beans”, bound for Malaysia.
  • July 2020: forty-one (41) pieces, weighing 137kg declared as “Fine Arts”, bound for Malaysia via Doha.

For more information, contact [email protected]

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