South Africa 27.7.2017 09:34 am

Genetic tests on 11 rhino horns intercepted at OR Tambo will determine origin

FILE PICTURE: Rhino horn. Picture: supplied

FILE PICTURE: Rhino horn. Picture: supplied

The woman who was found with the 11 rhino horns will appear in court.

The rhino horns intercepted at OR Tambo International airport this week will be subjected to genetic profiling by the Forensic Science Laboratory of the South African Police Service (SAPS), to determine the origin of the rhinoceros horn.

Environmental Affairs Minister Dr. Edna Molewa, who said in a statement she “welcomed the arrest” of an alleged rhino horn smuggler, said genetic tests would help reveal which country it came from.

She said Tuesday’s arrest of a Chinese national was the result of collaboration between officials from the SA Police Service, customs division of the South African Revenue Services, security screening companies and Environmental Management Inspectors (Green Scorpions) from the environmental affairs department.

“The arrest of the 24-year-old woman, who was in transit to Hong Kong from Lusaka in Zambia via South Africa, is an indication of the determination of our investigators on the ground to nip the illicit trade in wildlife, particularly the smuggling of poached rhino horn, out of Africa,” Molewa said.

The woman, who was found with 11 rhino horns weighing 23kg, will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

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