Rhino poachers jailed in Mpumalanga

2014-10-10 08:49

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Johannesburg - Two rhino poachers, both foreign nationals, arrested in unrelated incidents were sentenced in Mpumalanga courts this week, police said on Friday.

In one incident, Alvao Fagustino Sifundza from Mozambique was handed an eight-year sentence by the White River Periodical Court on Wednesday.

Hawks Captain Paul Ramaloko said Sifundza was arrested by game rangers in the Kruger National Park in April while his accomplice fled.

"He was found in possession of a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, a silencer, an axe, and a number of items of clothing," said Ramaloko.

Sifundza was convicted of trespassing, possession of an unlicensed firearm, and unlawful possession of ammunition. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

In a separate incident, Vietnamese national Ngoc Cuong Pham appeared in the Nelspruit Regional Court on Monday.

He was arrested with 13 other people in May 2012 after they were found in possession of rhino horn, said Ramaloko.

"[He] was sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined R1 million for dealing in and for being in possession of a rhino horn," Ramaloko said.

He was handed an additional five years for racketeering, three years of which were suspended for five years.

His co-accused would appear in court on 4 November when a trial date would be set.

Read more on:    crime  |  conservation  |  animals  |  rhino poaching

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