Zimbabwean police say they need more time to investigate the discovery of a dead body in a United States cargo plane, transporting cash to South Africa, after it stopped for refuelling in Harare on Sunday.
The body was discovered in the Western Cargo Airlines MD 11 plane that was carry cash allegedly belonging to South Africa’s Reserve Bank at the Harare International Airport.
There are a number of questions that have been raised that need answer
An airport official saw blood dripping from a small cabin while the Durban bound flight was refuelling. The body fell off the aircraft after the cabin was opened and security officials immediately impounded the plane.
Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Charity Charamba said they wanted to establish the cause of the man’s death and they had been in touch with Interpol over the issue.
Charamba said police were now waiting for results of a post-mortem of the body, which was being done in Harare. “There are a number of questions that have been raised that need answers,” she told reporters.
“For example, for how long had the body been in the plane and how the person died? The investigation is not a once-off thing but a process, so people have to be patient.”
South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabw Vusi Mavimbela, who spent most of Sunday at Harare International Airport following the discovery of the body, said the crew did not know what happened to the man.
Mavimbela said it was likely that the man was trying to enter South Africa illegally. The plane had made stops in Belgium, Uganda and Nigeria before landing in Harare.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of South Africa confirmed that the plane was carrying cash destined for its vaults.
“The SA Reserve Bank is working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the cargo is released and transported to South Africa,” an official from the central bank Pradeep Maharaj was quoted saying.
By: Janet Shoko