Friday, 27 January 2017

SOUTH AFRICA: No Bail For Rhino Poachers

Three suspects appeared briefly in the Grahamstown Magistrate’s court on Wednesday on charges relating to the possession of rhino horn valued at over R1 million.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Sibongile Soci said that two Zimbabweans, Forget Ndlovu, Jabulani Ndlovu and South African Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu were denied bail and will remain in custody.

Last week police made a breakthrough when the suspects were arrested at Makana Resort in Grahamstown. Their arrests follow the roll out of ‘Operation Full Moon’ which aims to curb rhino poaching incidents in the province.

Following their arrest police recovered one 72 cm rhino horn which had been freshly harvested, with an estimated value of about R1.2 million, one darting rifle, saws and knives, various darts and percussion caps amongst other equipment.

The suspects have been identified as a group linked to the recent poaching of a rhino at Buckland’s Private Game Reserve.

The rhino was last seen alive on June 17. It is suspected that the rhino was darted.

Police believe the suspects could possibly be linked to 10 rhino poaching incidents in the Eastern Cape as well as Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

The case was postponed until July 22 for further investigation.