10 held for rhino poaching

2014-09-19 21:58
(Getrude Makhafola, Sapa)

(Getrude Makhafola, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Ten people were arrested in four provinces on Friday in connection with rhino poaching and related crimes, the Hawks said.

"The ringleader was arrested in the Pretoria North Magistrate's Court this morning while appearing on a separate rhino poaching-related case," police spokesperson Paul Ramaloko said.

Nine others were arrested simultaneously in Polokwane in Limpopo, Ficksburg in the Free State, Potchefstroom in North West, and in Montana, Mamelodi, and Kameeldrift in Gauteng.

They were allegedly involved in killing 22 rhino and mutilating two others between 2008 and 2012.

"In total, the syndicate illegally obtained 84 rhino horns and killed 22 rhino valued at nearly R22m."

The 10 would appear in the Hatfield Magistrate's Court on Monday on poaching-related charges including theft, fraud, malicious damage to property, money laundering, intimidation, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The environmental affairs and home affairs departments, police detectives, crime intelligence, the Forensic Science Laboratory, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Veterinary Council of SA, and Protea Coin Security were involved in the operation.

National head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Anwar Dramat congratulated those who helped secure the arrests.

"We have been circling around this group for some time, in collaboration with other role players, to enable us to root out their activities," he said.

Read more on:    hawks  |  johannesburg ­  |  rhino poaching  |  crime

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