Rhino poachers busted in operations

2013-05-03 08:33
Rhino horn. (File: AFP)

Rhino horn. (File: AFP)

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Polokwane - Security operations have resulted in the arrest of several suspects for poaching after rhino horns and equipment were found in their possession.

Two men have been arrested for alleged possession of rhino horns in Marble Hall, near Groblersdal, Limpopo police said on Thursday.

They were arrested in the town on Wednesday afternoon after police were tipped off about two Ethiopians approaching a local farmer to sell the horns, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

Police stopped the two, aged 29 and 41, and searched their car. The horns were found in a black plastic bag and confiscated.

"Preliminary investigations have revealed that the two suspects are residing in Groblersdal and Marble Hall," said Mulaudzi.

In Mpumalanga, eight people have been arrested for rhino poaching in, SA National Parks (SANParks) said.


Five suspected poachers were arrested on Wednesday en route to Timbavati Private Game Reserve, said spokesperson Paul Daphne in a statement.

Daphne said they were found in possession of a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment.

The Timbavati group had been put under heavy surveillance for three weeks, following a joint operation between the Kruger National Park (KNP), Mpumalanga tourism and SANParks.

"We viewed this as a critical group as they had been focusing their operations in the KNP and adjacent private game reserves, including the Klaserie area, for some time now," said Daphne.

"We believe these arrests will assist in resolving a number of other unsolved poaching cases."

Three more suspected rhino poachers were arrested on Wednesday in the Giyani area following an operation between SANParks and police, with a hunting rifle and ammunition recovered.

Daphne said the continued proactive actions of all those involved in the arrests had paid off, with the possibility of more arrests not ruled out.

"This is a clear indication that resilience and patience pays off," he said.

"We are grateful that no lives were lost during the encounter with these heavily armed, suspected poachers."

All suspects are expected to appear in court soon.

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