A bleeding rhino horn was discovered inside a cooler bag following a car crash outside Johannesburg, police said Thursday.
“Police responded to the scene and during the investigation they discovered the rhino horn in the cooler bag and it was still bleeding,” Lieutenant Colonel Tshisikhawe Ndou told the Sapa news agency.
The police’s elite Hawks unit, which handles high-profile crimes, arrested four people aged 19 to 33 and charged them with illegal possession of a rhino horn.
A record 448 rhinos were killed last year, as South Africa struggles to rein in a deadly surge in poaching.
The horns are sought by international syndicates who sell them to the Asian traditional medicine market, where they are believed to have powerful healing properties.