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Zimbabwe Grounds South Africa-bound Plane After Corpse Found


Zimbabwean Armed Soldiers inspect a US-registered cargo plane at Harare International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, Feb,15, 2016.

Zimbabwean Armed Soldiers inspect a US-registered cargo plane at Harare International Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe, Feb,15, 2016.

Authorities in Zimbabwe are holding a cargo plane registered by a U.S. company after it was found with a bloody corpse on board when it stopped for refueling Sunday in Harare. The company, Western Global Airlines, said the situation was currently under review.

Zimbabwean authorities impounded a Western Global Airlines cargo jet after a dead body believed to be a stowaway and millions of South African rand were found on board.

Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe spokeswoman Anna-Julia Hungwe said the South Africa-bound cargo plane was coming from Germany with what she said was “diplomatic cargo” when it landed Sunday in Harare for refueling, but it was not allowed to take off after a bleeding corpse was discovered to be on board.

"The reason for the grounding was to facilitate further investigations, which is now being done by the home affairs," she said.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said all state security agencies are at the airport.

"Investigations are still continuing, the team is firm on the ground since yesterday," said Charamba. "So normally when they are investigating they do not give updates because they have to tie up some loose ends."

News reports say it appears the dead person had sneaked into the plane's landing gear.

The South African Reserve Bank says the aircraft was carrying a bank consignment and it is working with authorities to ensure the cargo is released and transported to South Africa.

Zimbabwe authorities say the six-crew member, believed to be American, Pakistani, and South African nationals, is cooperating with investigators.

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