Rhino poaching: 12 kingpins arrested

2015-11-26 14:54


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Twelve people believed to be the kingpins of a rhino poaching syndicate operating in Gauteng and North West have been arrested. This after a joint operation by law enforcement agencies.

The 12 were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday during Operation Ringleader which was conducted in conjunction with Crime Intelligence, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory as well as the National Prosecuting Authority in the two provinces.

Hawks spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said law enforcement officers had been on the trail of the group for two years.

“The high flying group has been [the] subject of an investigation since 2013 and is alleged to have contributed to the illegal poaching of rhinos and illicit dealing of rhino horns in Klerksdorp, Rustenburg, Pretoria and Johannesburg,” he said in a statement.

During the operation, 13 illegal firearms (eight rifles and five pistols), three small scales, one electrical hacksaw, four rhino horns, chopped rhino horns, R1.1m in cash and eight luxury vehicles were found and confiscated. 

The value of the seized items, including the money, was estimated at R6m.

The National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza praised the team for securing the arrests. He said no stone would be left unturned as they continued to clamp down on rhino poaching.

“I want to warn poachers that the Hawks will leave no stone unturned in the fight against rhino poaching and we will ensure that poachers are brought to book and convicted. The broom is still sweeping. This operation is continuing until all syndicates are wiped out,” he said.

The suspects would face charges of money laundering and racketeering, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition as well as corruption.

Read more on:    mahikeng  |  pretoria  |  johannesburg  |  rhino poaching  |  poaching  |  crime

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.