On Friday, the Pietermaritzburg Flying Squad and K9 Unit carried a joint operation on the N3 freeway Southbound on Orthmann Road, and an R1.2 million worth rhino horn was found in BMW.
The black BMW was spotted on the N3 freeway, and it was stopped and searched. A rhino horn that weighed 1.2kg was found. The police seized the respective vehicle, and the 30-year-old suspect was arrested and charged for possession of a rhino horn.
On Monday, the suspect will be appearing in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.
“We hope that this serves as a lesson to other poachers who attempt to poach on our game reserves. We trust that this arrest will result in a conviction,” says Ezemvelo’s Musa Mntambo.
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism, and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube welcomed the arrest and said that such activities resulted in the loss of biodiversity and destruction of the ecosystem. Anyone found guilty could spend a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or suffer a fine of R10 million.
“I was impressed and encouraged by an integrated approach that has been adopted and implemented in fighting wildfire crime,” she said.