Mercedes, rhino horn and rifles parts seized in SAPS operation

2017-07-02 22:59
The rhino horn that was found in the vehicle. (SAPS)

The rhino horn that was found in the vehicle. (SAPS)

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Cape Town - A national task team set up to combat rhino poaching around the country has arrested a Hazyview couple in KwaZulu-Natal for illegal possession of a rhino horn, rifle parts and ammunition.

The suspects were nabbed after the team received an intelligence tip-off about a recent model silver Mercedes Benz the pair were travelling in.

After working around the clock since Saturday, they were finally arrested at about midday on Sunday when members of the Rhino 8 team spotted their vehicle in Zululand’s Ntambana area and ordered them to pull over.

The driver, a 44-year-old woman, and a 33-year-old male from Hazyview, Mpumalanga, were arrested after the team found a rhino horn and parts of a hunting rifle and ammunition in the vehicle.

SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo told News24 that both suspects are currently in police custody and are expected to appear in the Ngwelezana Magistrates Court on Monday.

"They are likely to face charges of the unlawful possession of a rhino horn and unlawful possession of ammunition. Further charges may be brought against them in respect of the rifle parts found in their possession.

"The outcome of the criminal case would determine whether assets will be forfeited," he added.

The number of rhinos poached in KwaZulu-Natal in 2017 currently stands at 133, more than double of 2016’s figure for the first six months of the year.

Rifle parts that were found in the vehicle. (SAPS)

Read more on:    durban  |  rhino

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