Durban police nabbed two suspected rhino horn and elephant tusk dealers in the Point area during a sting operation on Monday.
The men, aged 35 and 56, were found in possession of tusks weighing 16.88kg worth around R300,000, police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said on Tuesday.
“Two men suspected of dealing in rhino horns and elephant tusks could not hide their excitement when they received a call from a potential buyer. Whilst they were excited to meet the buyer, things turned sour when they were confronted by police outside a hotel in Point.”
Naicker said officers received intelligence of the elephant tusks and set up a sting operation.
“The suspects were contacted by police and an appointment was set up to meet yesterday outside a busy hotel in Point.”
He said a police officer from the Point police station went to the hotel and requested to see the product.
“Without hesitation the suspects led the undercover police officer to their vehicle. The men were stunned and realised it was all over when they were confronted by police officers from the Point Rapid Response Team together with the Endangered Species Unit.”
Naicker said they were arrested for possession of and dealing in ivory.
KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula commended the police officers.
“KZN is not a playground for criminals and it is a lesson that these criminals learnt the hard way. We have recently dealt a heavy blow to criminals who trade in illicit and counterfeit goods and we will remain relentless in our pursuit for a crime free society.”