South African Revenue Service (Sars) officials on Thursday discovered 267kg of ivory at OR Tambo International Airport in transit for Vietnam from Zimbabwe.
It‚ said a Sars statement‚ “is estimated to have a street value of R4-million‚ which is one of the biggest interceptions by Sars of smuggled ivory”.
The discovery‚ the statement said‚ occurred “during the profiling of shipments…when officials noticed a pallet containing numerous plastic shrink-wrapped boxes”.
The supporting documents declared the goods contained inside as “handicrafts” originating from Zimbabwe destined for Vietnam.
An inspection revealed “ivory tusks amongst shredded paper” and as “no CITES permits were issued for the consignment‚ (it was) a clear attempt to smuggle the goods”.
A case has been opened with the South African Police Service for further investigation.