Home News Trio arrested in R180k protected plant bust

Trio arrested in R180k protected plant bust

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The Northern Cape police apprehended three men on April 29 for the illegal possession of protected plants with an estimated black market value of around R180,000.

The Kanoeneiland police seized protected plants being transported on a truck on the N14. Pictures: SAPS

THE NORTHERN Cape police apprehended three men on April 29 for the illegal possession of protected plants. The plants are estimated to have a black market value of around R180,000.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Omphile Masegelahe said that the arrest was made by vigilant members of the Kanoeneiland SAPS during their early morning crime-prevention patrols.

Masegelahe explained that the officers spotted a suspicious white Nissan truck loaded with bags on the N14 near Kanoeneiland. Upon stopping the truck and conducting a routine inspection, it was discovered that it was transporting protected indigenous plants.

The driver failed to provide a valid permit or authority to possess or transport the plants, leading to the arrest of the three occupants of the truck.

A preliminary investigation by the SAPS Stock Theft and Endangered Species unit revealed that the plants are worth around R180,000.

The three male occupants of the truck, aged 27, 35, and 37, were subsequently placed in police custody, facing charges of illegal possession of protected plants.

During the suspect screening process, it was revealed that one of the men is a wanted suspect.

Masegelahe said the trio are expected to make their court appearance soon.

The provincial commissioner of the Northern Cape, Lieutenant-General Koliswa Otola, lauded the vigilance and commendable work of the SAPS members involved in the operation, Sergeant Ephraim Olyn and Constable Michelle Kasper.

The Kanoeneiland police seized protected plants being transported on a truck on the N14. Pictures: SAPS

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