Second rhino horn smuggler nabbed
A SECOND rhino horn smuggler has been arrested within two weeks at OR Tambo International Airport.
The Department of Environmental Affairs said in a statement at the weekend that the 30-year-old Zimbabwean woman was arrested on Thursday.
“Suspicious items were noticed by private security personnel during the scanning of her check-in luggage and reported to customs officials who, in turn, called the Green Scorpions to assist with identification of the items. The horns were found hidden among electronic items in a suitcase.”
The woman was set to depart to Hong Kong and 2kg of rhino horn were found in her luggage.
The confiscated rhino horn, said the department, would be subjected to genetic profiling by the forensic science laboratory of the SAPS to determine the origin of the horn or possible linkages with other investigations.
The department said that in terms of various laws, a permit was required to possess or transport rhino horn.
Not being in possession of a permit could result in a fine of up to R10 million, or a fine equal to three times the commercial value of the rhino horn; imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years; or both a fine and imprisonment.
This arrest follows the arrest of a 24-year-old woman who was in transit to Hong Kong from Lusaka in Zambia via South Africa last month. The arrest at OR Tambo of the Chinese national was also as a result of multiagency action.
Eleven rhino horns weighing 23kg were confiscated when the woman was taken into custody.