It was a bad week for rhino poachers in South Africa after police and park rangers arrested 18 suspects‚ while five other poachers received a collective 30 years in jail.
One suspect was also fatally wounded after police and rangers attempted to arrest him.
“The South African Police Service and game rangers throughout South Africa refuse to give up on the on-going battle against rhino poaching‚” said SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
The suspects were arrested in Skhukuza‚ Hluhluwe‚ Barberton‚ KwaMsane‚ Nongoma and Gluckstadt over the course of the week.
“Two rhino horns‚ 8 firearms‚ ammunition‚ two gun silencers‚ a scope‚ an axe‚ a knife‚ two cellphones‚ and two motor vehicles were recovered during these various operations conducted‚” said Naidoo.
He said most of the suspects have already appeared in various courts on many charges‚ including unlawful possession of arms and ammunition‚ hunting a protected animal‚ kidnapping‚ assault‚ and possession of rhino horns.
Other suspects were convicted and sentenced this week in the Skhukuza Regional Court‚ where one accused received a 20-year prison sentence for hunting a protected animal‚ unlawful possession of ammunition and trespassing.
“The partnership of the police and park rangers in this continuing challenge is vital‚ and has borne results once again‚” said Naidoo.
Source: TMG Digital.