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Zimbabwe, Global Airlines Silent on Impounded Plane

Zimbabwean armed soldiers patrol around a United States registered cargo plane at Harare International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, Monday, Feb,15.2016. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The Zimbabwe Republic police says the body of a dead person found in a Western Global Airlines cargo plane destined for Durban, South Africa, on Sunday has been taken for a post-mortem.

The police refused to give further details about investigations being carried out.

However, according to a statement issued by Pradeep Maharaj, the currency cluster group executive of the Reserve Bank of South Africa on Tuesday, the plane and its cargo are still holed in Harare.

Maharaj said the South African Authorities are still working closely with the relevant authorities in Zimbabwe to have the cargo released.

The South African central bank also confirmed that they print some of their notes outside South Africa but explained that while the bulk of the annual production of banknotes is done locally in South Africa, a small percentage is printed offshore as part of the bank’s contingency plans.

The bank further explained that these arrangements are put in place to mitigate any major disruption in the domestic banknote operations.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe boss, David Chawota, on Monday told Studio 7 that the plane belonging to Western Global Airlines registered in Florida, United States, was impounded when human remains were found on the plane.

Chawota said the plane, which was carrying millions of South African rands belonging to South Africa’s Reserve Bank, had stopped at Harare International Airport for refueling when blood was found dripping from the plane by ground handling staff at the airport.

South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, who was not reachable today confirmed to Studio 7 yesterday that the cargo plane flying from Germany was carrying some South African goods.

He said two South African nationals are part of the six crew members that are being questioned by Zimbabwean authorities.

Zimbabwe in tight-lipped over the issue after it summoned some ambassadors for a urgent meeting Monday to discuss the issue surrounding the impounded plane. Western Global Airlines officials did not respond to inquiries made by Studio 7.