The Zimbabwean Civil Aviation Authority has seized an American registered cargo plane carrying cash for the South African Reserve Bank. The MD11 plane, owned by Florida-based Western Global Airlines, has stopped to refuel at Harare’s domestic airport on Sunday before a body was discovered on board.
Confirming the incident, South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, said six crew members and a few officials of the bank were on board.
“Unfortunately there was a stowaway that was found on the plane and (Zimbabwe) authorities are trying to get to the bottom of the issue.
“Where, when and how did the person get in there, because the crew and the Reserve Bank authorities who were there accompanying the cargo were not aware,” he said.
The plane owner Western Global Airlines said it was not immediately clear what had happened to the plane’s crew which includes; two Americans, one South African and a Pakistani. It disclosed that the plane was leased to Network Airlines of Britain and the cargo belonged to South Africa’s central bank. The company said the body was presumed to be a stowaway who may have entered the airplane during a previous stop. Pradeep Maharaj, Group Executive at the bank, said the organisation was working with Zimbabwean officials to have the plane and cargo released.