15 February 2016The Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe yesterday impounded a chartered MD11 trijet cargo plane owned by Western Global Airlines stashed with millions of South African rands and a dead body after it lost signal and requested an unscheduled landing at Harare International Airport during a flight from Germany to South Africa. An initial request to land in Mozambique was turned down.
A source close to the matter told the Herald:
“Upon refueling, the airport attendants discovered that there was blood dripping from the plane. When they checked to try and ascertain where the blood was coming from that is when they discovered a suspended dead body in the plane. The matter was reported to the authorities at the airport and the plane was impounded while the body was taken to pathologists.”
Western Global Airlines is based in southwest Florida in the United States of America. Unconfirmed reports say the crew included two Americans, a Pakistani and a South African.
The nationality of the dead person could not be established by the time of going to print, nor any details of how he died.
According to the Aviation Herald website, the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 cargo plane left Munich for South Africa carrying newly printed South African currency – likely printed by German-based firm Giesecke and Devrient. The plane was being leased by UK-based company Airline Network to deliver the bank notes to South Africa for the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
South African ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela said, “SARB has produced the documentation that it is authentic and Munich has also produced confirmation that the cargo belongs to the South African Reserve Bank.”
The bank said, “The SARB is working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the cargo is released and transported to South Africa.”