Thursday 6 November 2014

Rhino Smugglers arrested on flight from Maputo

Maputo — The South African authorities have announced the seizure on Friday of the largest ever haul of rhinoceros horns. Embarrassingly for the Mozambican authorities, the horns were being transported on a plane that had come from Maputo. The final destination of the two smugglers was Vietnam, where rhino horn is peddled as a miracle cure for everything from hangovers to cancer.

Two men, whose names were not revealed, were intercepted in the international departures section of
Johannesburg airport, after a detector dog reacted very strongly to one of their bags. Between them, the two men were found to be carrying 34 large pieces of rhino horn, weighing a total of 41 kilos, which Muller described as "the single biggest rhino horn seizure ever".

The two Vietnamese citizens had been travelling on the scheduled Qatar Airways flight from Maputo to Doha. This flight makes a short stop in Johannesburg, and the passengers from Maputo are normally asked to stay on board. Following a tip off the passengers were asked to disembark with their hand luggage.

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