The Hawks arrested a 46-year-old man at OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday in connection with the discovery of a consignment of rhino horn that was en route to China.
The arrest followed information received from the cargo section at the airport about a parcel destined for Shandong province in China. The parcel was allegedly declared as Ferrero and Cadbury chocolates.
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase said members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team, as well as officials from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, were summoned to the crime scene after the security officer operating scanners at the airport alerted the relevant authorities of the suspicious parcel.
“Upon examining the parcel, the team found six pieces of rhino horns inside two chocolate boxes of lunch bar.
“A thorough investigation by the Hawks led to the arrest of the suspect and an undisclosed amount of money was found hidden under the driver seat of his vehicle,” Nkwalase said in a statement on Friday.
The man was expected to spend the Christmas long weekend in jail. He will appear at the Kempton Park Court on Tuesday for contravention of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004 (NEMBA).
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe