The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs unit, working with the South African Police Service (SAPS), have successfully foiled an attempt to smuggle rhino horn out of the country.
SARS said the operation came after it received information about the suspicious luggage en-route to Abu-Dhabi.
In a statement, SARS said: “The Customs team responded by dispatching officers to the baggage area where the luggage was scanned, revealing images. Two items of luggage wrapped in plastic were taken to the Customs search area, where the luggage was rescanned and searched.”
Upon inspection, 17 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 25kg were found. The SAPS took the passenger to the International Police Station. The goods were handed to the SAPS for further investigations.
The revenue collector said it had seen increased attempts to smuggle rhino horn through the OR Tambo International Airport.
During the period July 2020 to April 2022, there were seven rhino horn detections totaling 137 pieces and weighing 482kg, detected through profiling and information sharing networks.