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Three suspected plant poachers arrested

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Three accused persons who were charged with the illegal possession and transportation of protected plants are expected to reappear in the Olifantshoek District Court on February 29.

Protected plants and a minibus taxi were seized by the police near Olifantshoek. Picture: Supplied

THREE ACCUSED persons who were charged with the illegal possession and transportation of protected plants are expected to reappear in the Olifantshoek District Court on Thursday.

The trio – Moropo Mpe, 43, Tatenda Mawere, 24, and Tichaona Mashava, 33 – were arrested by members of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team and the Olifantshoek SAPS on February 20 and made a brief court appearance on February 22.

Northern Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Tebogo Thebe said the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation members arrived at a vehicle checkpoint being conducted by SAPS members.

“A white minibus taxi was stopped after it attempted to drive through without being searched,” said Thebe.

“During a search, a bag full of unknown plants was found inside the vehicle. The accused were unable to provide a satisfactory explanation as to who the plants belonged to or produce the necessary permits to carry and transport the plants.”

Thebe added that the police seized the plants and a vehicle valued at R900,000 for further investigation.

“The matter was postponed until Thursday for confirmation of the accused’s addresses and passports.”

Protected plants and a minibus taxi were seized by the police near Olifantshoek. Pictures: Supplied

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