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Cops nab suspect for succulents

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Police said the arrest was made following a two-week-long clandestine operation.

Picture: Supplied

SUCCULENTS with an estimated value of R300 000 were confiscated in the Springbok area on Wednesday by the Springbok Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit.

Police spokesperson, Colonel Mashay Gamieldien, said a 40-year-old suspect was charged for contravening the Northern Cape Nature Conservation Act 9 of 2009, Sections 50 and 51, the possession of protected species.

“The suspect was found in possession of a large amount of Conophytums Wettsteinii succulents in the Springbok area on February 3 at about 10pm. He is expected to appear in the Springbok Magistrates’ Court soon.”

She said the arrest was made following a two-week-long clandestine operation involving the Springbok Stock Theft and Endangered Species Unit, Upington Crime Intelligence, Vioolsdrift Border Intelligence and Upington Technical Support units.

“The operation was executed in a veld area between Okiep and Steinkopf when undercover agents finalised the deal and the 40-year-old male suspect from Steinkopf was arrested after the transaction was finalised.

“The Conophytums is a genus of a South African succulent plant and is commonly known as knopies, cone plants or button plants. The plants were packed in eight boxes and were handed over to the agents. The estimated value on the South African market is approximately R300 000.”