Rhino horn worth R23-million found at OR Tambo Airport

Posted by Ishani Chetty on 11 January 2019

Rhino horn worth over R23-million was discovered at OR Tambo International Airport on Thursday and was reportedly destined for Dubai. South African Revenue Service (SARS) custom officials seized the load of rhino horn with the help of sniffer dog, Lizzy.

According to an official statement by SARS, Lizzy discovered the 36 pieces of rhino horn in a container that was labelled as ‘decoration items’ in a warehouse.”Customs officials accordingly cut open eight boxed attached together with bubble wrap.”

The illegal items were carefully hidden underneath cut and laminated wooden sheets in four of the eight boxes. The other boxes were filled with doormats and decorative items.

SARS/ intercepted illegal trade of rhino horn


“The total weight of the horns was 116kg, valued at an approximate value of R23,200,000,” said SARS Reports indicate that the ‘street value’ of the rhino horn is suspected to be much higher. Several reports of rhino horn originating from South Africa and traveling to the Far East has prompted authorities to conduct rigorous inspection of warehouses with cargo that is scheduled for outbid flights.

The initiative will continue to check all cargo – ensuring that the illegal trade of these goods is apprehended.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (HAWKS) and the South African Police Services (SAPS) were alerted to the incident. A criminal case has been registered with SAPS and DPCI (HAWKS) for further investigations.

SARS/ Rhino horn discovered at OR Tambo Airport


Picture: Pixabay

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