Pretoria - Bail was on Friday denied to alleged rhino poaching mastermind Hugo Ras in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
Ras - who spent his 41st birthday behind bars - was arrested along with his wife Trudie and eight other men after a years-long investigation, reported Netwerk24.
The group face a total of 318 charges, including racketeering and poaching. Ras alone is facing 284 charges.
A Hawks officer, a pilot and an attorney are among those implicated in the syndicate which has acquired about R22m worth of rhino horns, writes Eyewitness News.
Ras is allegedly the leader of a syndicate that “contributed to the brutal slaughter and mutilation of 24 rhino in state and privately-owned reserves” , writes journalist Julian Rademeyer.