U.S. plane impounded in Zimbabwe; body and cash found on board

HARARE, Zimbabwe -- Zimbabwean aviation authorities impounded a U.S.-registered cargo jet, a senior official said Monday, after a dead body later believed to be a stowaway and millions of South African rand were found on board.

See Full Article

The Herald, a state-run newspaper, reported that the MD-11 trijet was travelling from Germany to South Africa "with millions of rands." At today's exchange rate, 1 million rand is worth $62,500.

Authorities here learned the money belonged to the South Africa Reserve Bank, the country's central bank. Police planned to issue a statement later Monday.

The plane had landed in Harare for refuelling , said Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe general manager David Chawota. He said the jet, registered with Western Global Airlines, was impounded at Harare airport on Sunday. A website says Western Global Airlines is based in Estero, Florida. The airline on Monday said the cargo belonged to the South African Reserve Bank and the dead body belonged presumably to a stowaway. Zimbabwe police said it was still investigating the matter.

The crew did not know there was someone else on the plane, according to a police officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press. It appears from photos on social media that the dead person had sneaked into the plane's landing gear which severed his arm when it contracted, causing blood to splatter onto the fuselage and arousing suspicion of the ground crew when the flight landed here.

In a response to AP queries, Western Global Airlines said it didn't have the identity of the dead person, believed to be a stowaway.

"The aircraft is leased to Network Airline Management, a longtime customer based in the UK, and the shipment consignee was the South African Reserve Bank. This particular flight was from Germany to South Africa, we are told for the South African government. During a routine fuel stop in Zimbabwe, a body was found in the lower compartment. The body is presumed to be a stowaway who may have entered the airplane during a previous stop. The situation is currently under review," the airline said in an email response to The Associated Press.

South Africa's ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela confirmed that the cargo belonged to the South African Reserve Bank but refused to divulge further details, saying he was still liaising with the Zimbabwe government to resolve the matter. He refused to divulge the nature of the cargo or the amount of money that was in the plane.

Zimbabwe police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said investigations are still underway.

"Our officers are on the ground investigating the case. We are working hard to get the identity of this dead person but I will only give clearer details when investigations are complete. The body has been taken for tests by experts," she said on Monday night.

The crew, according to the Herald, includes two Americans, a South African and a Pakistani.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • More stalkers using technology, StatsCan says

    Canada News CTV News
    The number of stalking incidents in Canada decreased over a 10-year period, but technology has changed the way victims are stalked, according to a new Statistics Canada report. The report, published Wednesday, looked at the prevalence of stalking, as reported by victims, across Canada between 2004 and 2014. Source
  • Supporters of newly freed Diab want inquiry into his extradition to France

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Supporters of Hassan Diab, recently freed by French authorities, want a public inquiry into his extradition on suspicion of murder. Diab's lawyer, Donald Bayne, says Canada never should have sent the Ottawa sociology professor to France. Source
  • Erotic zone: Laval imposes new rules on sex businesses

    Canada News CTV News
    The southwestern Quebec city of Laval has introduced new measures to limit strip clubs, sex shops and massage parlours to one industrial zone. City officials in Laval, Que. voted to adopt the amendments to bylaw L-2000 on Tuesday night. Source
  • Ex-CIA officer arrested, charged with keeping documents

    World News CTV News
    ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged with illegally retaining classified records, including names and phone numbers of covert CIA assets. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested Monday night after arriving at JFK International Airport. Source
  • Lac-Megantic jury deliberating for seventh straight day

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. -- Jurors are deliberating for a seventh consecutive day today at the trial of three men charged with criminal negligence causing death in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster. The 12 jurors sent the judge a letter Tuesday telling him they were at an impasse. Source
  • Ontario family 'disheartened' by ruling that Ft. William sanatorium not a residential school

    Canada News CBC News
    The family of an 84-year-old Indigenous woman who tried to get a former sanatorium in what is now Thunder Bay, Ont., designated as a residential school says they're "disheartened" by a recent ruling. Ruth Ann Henry was the applicant in an amended request for direction, filed in 2014, to get the "Fort William Indian Hospital Sanatorium School" added to the residential school settlement agreement. Source
  • Across the U.S. South, it's snow, ice and record-breaking cold

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA -- The South awoke Wednesday to a two-part Arctic mess that caused problems as far south as the Gulf Coast. First came a thin blanket of snow and ice, then came the freezing wind chills and record-breaking low temperatures in New Orleans and other cities. Source
  • Two bodies found in home west of Toronto

    Canada News CTV News
    OAKVILLE, Ont. -- Police say they're investigating after two bodies were found in a home west of Toronto. Halton Regional Police released few details of the scene they found at the home in Oakville, Ont. Source
  • Bitcoin slumps below $10K US, then rebounds even as regulatory fears intensify

    World News CBC News
    Bitcoin skidded below $10,000 US on Wednesday, halving in value from its peak price, with investors gripped by fears regulators could clamp down on the volatile cryptocurrency that sky-rocketed last year. The price of bitcoin, the world's biggest and best known cryptocurrency, fell to as low as $9,315 US on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the lowest since late November 2017 Source
  • Canadian reported kidnapped on road to capital in Nigeria

    World News CBC News
    Kidnappers have abducted one Canadian and one American in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing two police officers, a police spokesman said on Wednesday. They were ambushed by unknown gunmen around Kagarko on their way from the city of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, Mukhtar Aliyu, a spokesman for the Kaduna state police, said by phone. Source