Limpopo police have arrested three suspected rhino poachers believed to have been on their way to shoot and dehorn rhinos in Phalaborwa.
Police received information about suspected poachers with the aim to shoot and dehorn the animals in a private game farm. The situation was monitored and at approximately 17h00 on Sunday the suspected vehicle with three occupants was spotted in Hoedspruit.
Tactical Response Team (TRT) and stock theft members closed in and arrested the three suspects and confiscated a hunting rifle and a revolver both unlicensed as well as a licensed 9mm pistol. The Ford Fiesta vehicle was also confiscated. The origin of the two unlicensed fire-arms is currently being investigated and they will also be sent for ballistic tests.
The three suspects a 50 year old South African and two yet to be identified Mozambicans are expected to appear in the Hoedspruit Magistrates' court soon on charges of the illegal possession of a fire-arms and ammunition as well as charges under the National Environmental Biodiversity Act which includes the conspiracy to commit a crime of rhino poaching.
Limpopo Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Simon Mpembe commended the team for their sterling work and reiterated that the police in Limpopo will fight vigorously to prevent and arrest suspects from killing and dehorning rhinos in the province.
The Limpopo community is reminded that an award of up to R500 000 can be paid out to any member of the public who can provide information which will lead to the arrest and conviction in court of suspects involved in the act of rhino poaching or dealing in rhino horns.
Issued by: South African Police Service