Johannesburg, South Africa -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/20/2016 -- Two Rhino horns that were destined to be shipped out of the country have recently been confiscated at the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. This information was confirmed and came directly from South African Revenue Services spokesperson Sandile Memela. He has said that their customs officials at the OR Tambo Airport had found the 2 rhino horns packed together in a shipment of taxidermy.
The horns had a net weight of just over 10kg. Just the 2 horns had been found but this has an estimated value of 3 million Rand on the black market. The shipment in question had been outlined to undergo a surprise examination by customs officials at the OR Tambo Airport. The rhino horn were being moved out of the country by a reputable cargo forwarding company.
When asked to provide the export documentation during the examination, they were unable to do so. The cargo forwarding company were cooperative and tried to contact the owner of the shipment to get the export documentation but had not been replied to for over 24 hours. Without this documentation, OR Tambo Airport customs officials cannot ascertain as to where the rhino horns were fated for.
As per procedure, OR Tambo Airport officials have handed the rhino horns over to the Department of Agriculture who will now conduct their own investigation into the matter. Rhinos are a protected species not just in South Africa but across an international agreement between governments. The agreement came about to ensure that any international trade of both wild animals and plants do not affect their survival. Rhino horns are highly valuable in Asian countries where they are used in traditional Chinese medicines. South Africa houses a number of the world's rhino population which is why poachers target the country regularly.
With rhinos being poached at an alarming rate in South Africa, threatening their species into near extinction, measures are being taken to ensure that they are protected in the wild and that rhino horns are seized before they can leave the country. OR Tambo Airport have made a number of finds of rhino horns in the past, leading to many arrests. The South African Revenue Services customs team use trained detector dogs to sniff out luggage and cargo that are holding rhino horn.
No arrests have been made in this recent OR Tambo Airport rhino horn case as yet.
Full address & Zip Code: O R Tambo Airport Rd, Johannesburg, 1627
Company and Business Name: O.R Tambo International Airport
Contact Number: 011 921 6262
Contact person and Title: Kevin Peters