9 November 2012

South Africa: Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa Welcomes Rhino Poaching Sentence

press release

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa has today welcomed the sentencing of Thai national, Mr Chumlong Lemtongthai for rhino illegal trade in rhino horns.

Lemtongthai, who pleaded guilty to 52 counts, including illegally obtaining hunting permits that led to the illegal exportation of nearly 26 rhino horns, trading in rhino horn, breaching the Customs and Excise Act as well as tax fraud, was sentenced to 40 years in jail.

The Minister hopes that this latest rhino poaching sentence will illustrate the seriousness with which the government views rhino poaching and that it will act as a deterrent to individuals and syndicates involved in this crime. As the court ruled, the rhino is part of our pride as a nation and anyone who steals it or part of it, steals our pride and the laws of our country should deal with such individuals.

While government remains committed to curbing the rhino poaching scourge and bringing to book those participating in this crime, South African citizens can also play a key role in this fight.

Members of the public are urged to report incidents of rhino poaching or any tip-offs that could lead to arrests and prevention of illegal killings to 0800 205 005.

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