Minister lauds rhino horn bust

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has welcomed the arrest of an alleged rhino horn smuggler at the OR Tambo International Airport.

“The action of alert officials at the Airport on Tuesday is to be applauded. It is a feather in the cap of all those investigators involved,” said the Minister on Wednesday.

A Chinese woman was arrested at OR Tambo International Airport for allegedly smuggling11 rhino horns weighing 23kg on Tuesday.

The suspect was en route to Hong Kong from Lusaka via Johannesburg.

The arrest was a result of collaboration between officials from the SAPS, Customs division of the South African Revenue Services, security screening companies and Environmental Management Inspectors (Green Scorpions) of the Department of Environmental Affairs.

The woman will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court this morning on charges related to the smuggling of rhino horn.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo Naidoo said the intensified collaborative efforts to curb criminality within and around the O R Tambo International Airport are proving to be very successful.

“Both the proactive and reactive measures are proving to be effective and we will continue to find new innovative ways to remain a step ahead of the criminals.”

Since the implementation of the revised strategies, law enforcement forces in the area has foiled a brazen robbery at the cargo terminal of the airport.

Last week, the team, as part of proactive measures, identified a vehicle with four armed men suspected to be part of a group that follows people from the airport and subsequently rob them.

No other reports of people being followed from the airport and being robbed have been reported since. - SAnews.gov.za

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