Sanco applauds expulsion of North Korean diplomat

2015-12-24 17:30

Johannesburg - The SA National Civic Organisation on Thursday gave the "thumbs-up" to the government for expelling a North Korean diplomat who allegedly smuggled rhino horn out of South Africa.

"We are encouraged by the determination to deal harshly with all involved in the brutal and evil trade targeted at the rhino, which is a symbol of our ecology and rich heritage," Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said in a statement.

The diplomat, Park Chol-jun – also identified in some news reports as Pak Chol Chun - left the country on December 11 after he was given a 30-day ultimatum to do so. He allegedly abused his diplomatic immunity and used his embassy’s diplomatic bag to smuggle rhino horn out of South Africa.

Park was arrested in the Mozambican capital of Maputo after 4.5kg of rhino horn and $99 300 in cash were found in a car in which he was travelling on May 3. The car had diplomatic licence plates and was registered to the North Korean embassy in Pretoria. Also arrested was a man identified as respected North Korean Taekwondo master, Kim Jong Su.  

Sanco also applauded Tuesday’s confiscation at OR Tambo International Airport of two rhino horns worth about R3m.

Customs officials found the horns in a shipment of taxidermy that had been profiled for examination at a cargo forwarding company, the SA Revenue Service said. The company could not provide the correct export documentation and the horns were seized.

Read more on:    sanco  |  north korea  |  rhino poaching

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