A CHINESE woman has been given four-years jail term for rhino horn smuggling.
The judgement was handed down by the Kempton Park Regional Court on October 12 2017.
The 24 year old Chinese national Shuangshuang Xue, was intercepted at the OR Tambo International Airport en route from Lusaka, Zambia to Hong Kong.
Upon investigation it was discovered her suit case baggage contained 14 pieces of rhinoceros horn with a weight of approximately 16 kg by security screening team.
According to the department of Environmental Affairs:” Shuangshuang was arrested as there were no permits accompanying the suitcase and its contents.
The rhinoceros horn were confiscated and handed in at the Forensic Science Laboratory of the South African Police Service (SAPS), to determine the origin of the rhinoceros horn or possible linkages with other investigations.
During genetic profiling it was discovered that the 14 pieces of Rhinoceros Horn were from the White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), from five different animals of which were four males and one female. None of the 14 pieces of Rhino Horn could be linked to any poaching incidents or registered stock pile,” read the media statement.
The minister of Environmental Affairs Dr Edna Molewa has welcomed the arrest and the court judgement.
“The collaboration between law enforcement officials at the airport, in the investigation and subsequent judicial process, needs to be commended. It is only through such continued cooperation and collaboration that the battle against rhino poaching, being undertaken through the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros Approach, will be won,” said Minister Molewa.
At the time of publishing the department spokesperson Albie Modise, had not responded on whether the Chinese national acted alone or if, there were any other people involved.