Effective partnership policing and the alert actions of the Endangered Species Unit, with assistance from Farm Watch members, led to the arrest of one of the suspected rhino poachers in the Gravelotte area outside Phalaborwa, Limpopo. The incident happened yesterday, Friday 8 July 2022 at about 05:00.
The suspect was arrested through a joint operation soon after information was received about the gunshot sounds on the farm. The motor vehicle, a Toyota double cab fitting the description given, was spotted on Eiland road near Letsitele.
The suspects were pulled over, one suspect was arrested and the other two managed to evade arrest.
During the search, police recovered a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, two Rhino horns and other hunting equipment.
PHALABORWA RHINO POACHERS ARRESTED
An investigation was conducted back on the farm and one Rhino was found shot and the carcass had both horns removed. The other wounded rhino was discovered later and the suspects failed to remove the horns.
The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has appreciated and thanked the Farm Watch members for being vigilant and working closely with the police to ensure the speedy arrest of the suspect.
“Being our ears and eyes is also very crucial in the fight against crime. It is very important for anyone who notices criminal activity to report immediately to the police,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe.
The 43-year-old suspect is expected to appear in the Nkoankoa Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 11 July 2022. He is also facing charges of rhino poaching, possession of rhino horns and illegal possession of a firearm.
Members of the community are urged to assist with information that can lead to the arrest of the remaining suspects. They may contact Captain Peter Meyer on 0823199460 or the crime stop number 0860010111or the nearest police or MySAPSApp.