The Department of Environmental Affairs welcomes the arrest of a man at OR Tambo International Airport for alleged rhino horn smuggling 

24 May 2019 


The Department of Environmental Affairs has welcomed the arrest of man at O R Tambo International Airport for possession and the attempted smuggling of 30kg of rhino horn from South Africa to the Far East.

The 38-year-old man from Gauteng was reportedly travelling to Vietnam via United Arab Emirates when he was arrested at the airport on Tuesday, 21 May 2019, by members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit as part on an ongoing investigation into rhino horn smuggling. The 22 rhino horn were found stashed in the suspect’s luggage.

He has been charged for contravening Section 57 of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) and for illegal possession of rhino horn. The Hawks are to be congratulated for the latest arrest of an alleged rhino horn smuggler. 

The investigation by the Hawks is part of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros in South Africa. The government’s collaborative anti-poaching approach, which involves, amongst others, members of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Environmental Management Inspectorate, customs and excise officials, the police and the Hawks, the Justice Department and members of the SA National Defence Force, has been implemented since 2014 and has resulted in decrease in rhino poaching since 2016.

**Members of the public wishing to report rhino poaching and environmental crimes can contact the Department’s hotline on 0800 205 005  or call 10111.

For media inquiries contact:

Albi Modise
Cell: 083 490 2871