Zimbabwe authorities are investigating after a US-registered plane carrying a cargo of cash to South Africa made an unscheduled stopover in Harare where a body was found in the landing gear, officials said Monday.
The plane asked to land in Harare due to a technical problem while en route from Germany, the South African embassy said, adding that the corpse was thought to be a stowaway.
The plane was impounded by Zimbabwe officials, according to local media reports.
Airport attendants reportedly discovered the body after noticing blood on the plane fuselage.
“This is an international cargo plane which was hired by the South African Reserve Bank to transport cargo from Germany,” Vusi Mavimbela, South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, told AFP.
Mavimbela said the crew asked for permission to land in Harare due to a technical hitch.
“When they landed, this stowaway was discovered by airport staff,” Mavimbela said. “The authorities are looking into the matter.”
Airport sources said the plane belonging to a Florida-based cargo carrier was carrying millions of South African rands from a printer in Germany.
Mavimbela confirmed the plane was hired by the South Africa central bank to carry banknotes printed in Germany but would not disclose the amount.
Police and aviation authorities were not available to comment.