U.S. Plane With S. Africa Central Bank Cargo Held Over Body

  • Body of person presumed to be a stowaway found on plane
  • Plane at Harare airport in Zimbabwe while police investigate

Zimbabwean authorities impounded a cargo plane carrying a consignment for the South African Reserve Bank after a body was discovered on board.

“The police are now handling the issue and the plane, which is owned by Western Global Airlines, has been grounded at Harare International Airport since Sunday,” Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe Chief Executive Officer David Chawota said by phone. The plane, en route to South Africa from Germany, landed in Harare after requesting permission to refuel when the body was discovered, he said.

The unidentified body is presumed to be a stowaway, Pradeep Maharaj, a group executive at South Africa’s Pretoria-based central bank, said in an e-mailed response to questions.

“The SARB is working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the cargo is released and transported to South Africa,” he said, without disclosing what the cargo is.

Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi met with diplomats from the U.S., Germany, South Africa and Pakistan to discuss the impounded plane, according to Joey Bimha, the secretary for foreign affairs.

Western Global Airlines is based in Florida, U.S.

Harare Airport

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