Two held over MTPA rhino horn theft

By admin
09 June 2014

A pair of suspected rhino horn thieves will appear in court today. They were arrested in connection with the theft of 112 rhino horns. Rhino horns are composed largely of keratin, a protein that is the chief component in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves.

Two people arrested in connection with the theft of 112 rhino horns from a strongroom at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) were expected to appear in court on Monday.

"They were arrested around Nelspruit, one on Friday and the other on Saturday, and investigations are still continuing," Hawks spokesman Captain Paul Ramaloko said.

The pair were expected to appear in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on charges of burglary and theft, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Ramaloko said they were not MTPA employees.

There had been speculation that the theft was the result of an inside job.

Altogether 112 rhino horns were stolen from a secure strongroom at the MTPA on the night of April 20.

The horns had been removed from live rhinos in order to protect them from poachers.

- SAPA

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