The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure’s Operation Rhino 9 Task Team has arrested 28 suspects and recovered various remains of known endangered species, as well as a vehicle and an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.
“The suspects were nabbed during intelligence-driven operations in which 16 were apprehended in KwaZulu-Natal, eight in Mpumalanga and in Limpopo four were detained,” said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale.
“During the arrests, the team seized a pangolin, two elephant tusks, game meat, and other items that could be used for the killing of wild animals.”
The Rhino 9 team is made up of representatives from various government departments, including the South African Police Service, Customs and Excise, the South African National Defence Force, Ezemvelo and SANParks Game Rangers.
All suspects have appeared before the various courts and their cases postponed for further investigation while they remain in custody. Katlego said the arrests should serve as a deterrent.