Tusks and Ivory Seized at Airport

Article excerpt

TUSKS and ivory items worth millions were seized in an operation in which SA Revenue Service officers allowed a consignment of smuggled ivory to leave the airport and reach its destination - a city business premises.

A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the find.

"A consignment was detected by the Border Control Unit at Cape Town International Airport. The four boxes arrived from OR Tambo International Airport in the morning. Upon further investigation, tusks and ivory products were found. The estimated value at the time was R1.2 million," Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay said last night.

He said a controlled delivery (where the boxes were allowed to go to their intended destination) was arranged - and closely monitored by Sars customs officers and the Hawks.

"This led to a premises where a larger number of ivory and ivory products were found," Lackay said.

He said the confiscated items still had to be quantified and that more arrests might follow.

Last last night, Sars customs officers were still checking the Montague Gardens business premises, where hundreds of boxes were stacked inside. …