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Impounded Plane: Reserve Bank working to have money released

A corpse and SA banknotes worth millions, printed in Germany, were found on board the plane in Harare.

Western Global Airlines operates a fleet of Boeing MD-11 freighter aircraft, the same type of craft on which a body was found and impounded by Zimbabwean authorities. Picture: Western Global Airlines

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) says it's working closely with the relevant authorities in Harare to have the money in the Johannesburg-bound aircraft impounded there released and transported to South Africa.

The aircraft had to make an unscheduled landing while carrying millions of South African banknotes printed in Germany.

Zimbabwean authorities say they've called in Interpol to investigate the decomposing body found in the undercarriage of the United States registered aircraft that made an unscheduled landing on its flight between Germany and South Africa.

Sarb says the currency aboard is part of the small percentage of South African banknotes printed abroad as part of its contingency plans.

The bank says the bulk of South African banknotes are printed locally.

However, as part of its function of supplying a regular supply of banknotes and coin, contingency plans are made to ensure a swift transition should the need arise in case of a major disruption.

The bank has not indicated how much money has been impounded in Zimbabwe or when it will be sent to its rightful owner.