Five men have been arrested in the Western Cape in connection with the illegal possession of more than 5 600 succulents.
The arrests were the result of an integrated operation between the police, Malmesbury Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit and Cape Nature, said police spokesperson Sergeant Luqmaan Adams on Thursday.
"The suspects were arrested after they were stopped and searched on the N7 close to Vanrhynsdorp. Three bags with a total of 5 697 succulent conophytum plants and two bags containing herbs were found in the vehicle," said Adams.
Earlier this year, Cape Nature raised the alarm over succulent plant poaching after 11 cases were recorded in just over six months.
The value of the plants was estimated at around R15 million. The poaching appears to centre around conophytum species, with wild plants deemed more valuable by collectors, conservationists previously told News24.
The men found transporting the allegedly poached plants were aged 25 to 34, said Adams.
Once charged they will appear in the Malmesbury Magistrate's Court.
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