CAPE TOWN: Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has welcomed the four year sentence of a 24-year-old Chinese national who was found guilty on charges of rhino horn smuggling.
The sentence was handed down last week in the Kempton Park Regional Court. Shuangshuang Xue was arrested at O R Tambo International Airport en-route from Lusaka, Zambia to Hong Kong, China.
A suitcase that was checked in at baggage counter by the woman contained 14 pieces of rhinoceros horn with a weight of approximately 16 kilograms. It was intercepted by security screening personnel at the luggage transfer area of the international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport.
“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,” Minister Molewa said.
The investigation and arrest were the result of collaboration between officials from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Customs division of the South African Revenue Services, security screening companies and Environmental Management Inspectors (EMI’s) of the Department of Environmental Affairs, based at OR Tambo International Airport.