Rhino poachers arrested in Limpopo

2014-11-09 12:48

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Johannesburg - Six suspected rhino poachers were arrested in Limpopo over the weekend, police said on Sunday.

"Limpopo police on Saturday made a major breakthrough when they arrested six suspected rhino poachers in Phalaborwa as well as in Hoedspruit," spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

Police in Hoedspruit tracked the movements of three suspicious-looking individuals on Friday in the Kruger National Park.

"An all-night search ensued which led to the suspects being spotted in the early hours of Saturday getting into a 'pick up' vehicle just outside Lulekani," he said.

Mulaudzi said police, who by then had managed to call for back up, were able to intercept the getaway vehicle and arrested three people, including the driver.

"One known suspect managed to escape and an intense search for him is under way. The three were found in possession of an unlicensed 3.75 rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition and an axe. The vehicle has also been seized," he said.

Hunting rifle seized

Mulaudzi said police in Phalaborwa received information of two suspected rhino poachers who were allegedly picked up after leaving the Kruger National Park.

Following up the information, police managed to track the suspected vehicle and with the help of Mpumalanga police, the two and the driver, were arrested in Acornhoek.

"Police managed to seize an unlicensed 303 hunting rifle with 10 rounds as well as an axe. The vehicle was also seized. In both cases police did not find any rhino horns in their possession.

However investigations are under way to ascertain if any rhinos were poached in the Kruger National Park or whether they were on their way still to do so," he said.

The firearms would be taken for ballistic testing to determine if they were used in any poaching cases. They would also check whether any of the suspects were involved in other cases.
The six were expected to appear in court soon.

Read more on:    polokwane  |  rhino poaching  |  crime

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