13 June 2017

South Africa: Minister Edna Molewa Welcomes Arrest of Alleged Rhino Horn Traffickers

press release

Minister of Environmental Affairs welcomes arrest of alleged rhino horn traffickers

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa, has welcomed the arrest of two people at O R Tambo International Airport, and the recovery of 10 rhino horn valued at R2.8 million.

"The arrest of the two individuals who were flying out of South Africa to Hong Kong is further confirmation of the success of the multi-disciplinary law enforcement effort being undertaken to combat rhino poaching and wildlife crime under the umbrella of the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros," said Dr Molewa.

The two alleged smugglers were arrested after 6 rhino horn were discovered in the one man's travel bag by SARS Customs officials. An inspection of a second travel bag led to the discovery of 4 more horns.

The matter is being investigated by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations.

"The multi-disciplinary approach to battling rhino poaching has delivered a number of successes. Working in collaboration with our partners in government - the SA Police Service, SARS, State Security Agency, and the Departments of Justice and Correctional Services, and Defence - we are able to report that our efforts to end poaching are starting to deliver results," said the Minister.

In the past two months 50 people have been arrested, and 13 rhino horn, two elephant tusks and 19 hunting rifles recovered during operations directed at ending rhino poaching countrywide.

Issued by: Department of Environmental Affairs

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