Rhino horn smuggling thwarted

Rhino horn smuggling thwarted at OR Tambo

An attempt to smuggle two rhino horns out of the country from OR Tambo International Airport has been thwarted by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Rhino horn smuggling thwarted

Customs officials from SARS found the rhino horns in a shipment of taxidermy that had been profiled for examination at a well-known cargo forwarding company. The company was unable to provide the required export documentation upon request.

SAnews.gov.za quotes a SARS spokesperson who said the horns weighed approximately 10.5 kg and are worth more than R3 million.

Rhinoceros is a protected species in accordance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) – an international agreement between governments aimed at ensuring international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

“The forwarding company subsequently contacted and requested the required export documentation from the owner of the shipment, but no response was received within 24 hours.  Because no documents were made available, the destiny of the horn could not be established,” said SARS.

The revenue service handed over the horns to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) for further investigation. No arrests have been made as yet.