- Discovery of unidentified dead body led plane to be impounded
- Aircraft was en route from Germany to South Africa this week
The South African Reserve Bank said rand notes found on a cargo plane impounded in Zimbabwe this week after a dead body was discovered on board should be returned home.
“The aircraft currently detained at Harare Airport is carrying a consignment of South African banknotes that was produced overseas as part of the SARB’s annual production plan,” the Pretoria-based central bank said in a statement on its website on Tuesday. The bank is working with authorities to ensure the shipment will be released and delivered to South Africa, according to the statement.
The aircraft, owned by Western Global Airlines, has been at the airport in Harare, the capital, since Sunday, and the body is presumed to be a stowaway. The plane was traveling to South Africa from Germany and had landed in the southern African nation to refuel. Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi met with diplomats from the U.S., Germany, South Africa and Pakistan to help resolve the matter, according to Joey Bimha, the secretary for foreign affairs.
Investigators are still waiting for the autopsy report into the death, Charity Charamba, Zimbabwean police spokeswoman, said in a text message.
A small percentage of South Africa’s banknotes are printed outside of the country as part of the central bank’s contingency plans, SARB said, without disclosing how much money was in the plane.