Body, Cash Found on US Jet Impounded in Zimbabwe

Apparent stowaway's arm severed, blood spattered across fuselage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 15, 2016 12:24 PM CST
Body, Cash Found on US Jet Impounded in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwean armed soldiers patrol around a United States registered cargo plane at Harare International Airport in Harare on Monday.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwean aviation authorities impounded a US-registered cargo jet, a senior official said Monday, after a body later believed to be a stowaway and millions of South African rand were found on board Sunday. The Herald, a state-run newspaper, reported that the MD-11 trijet was traveling from Germany to South Africa "with millions of rands" (at today's exchange rate, 1 million rand is worth $62,500); authorities here learned the money belonged to the South African Reserve Bank. A Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe general manager said the plane had landed in Harare for refueling. He said the jet, registered with Western Global Airlines, was impounded at Harare International Airport. A website says Western Global Airlines is based in Estero, Fla.

The crew didn't know there was someone else on the plane, according to a police officer, who insisted on anonymity because he's not authorized to speak to the press. It appears from photos on social media that the dead person had sneaked into the plane's landing gear, which severed his arm when it contracted, causing blood to splatter onto the fuselage and arousing suspicion of the ground crew when the flight landed here. The crew, according to the Herald, includes two Americans, a South African, and a Pakistani. Police planned to issue a statement later Monday. (More Zimbabwe stories.)

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