Suspect to appear in court after police find him in possession of a rhino horn weighing 1.2kg
DURBAN – A 30-year-old suspect is to appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday after being found in possession of a rhino horn.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said the Pietermaritzburg Flying Squad and K9 unit were conducting an operation on Friday when officers spotted a black BMW travelling on the N3 highway. The vehicle was stopped and a search took place. A rhino horn, which weighed 1.2kg, was found.
“The value of the rhino horn is R1.2 million. The vehicle that was used in the commission of an alleged crime was seized by police,” said Gwala.
“A 30-year-old suspect was placed under arrest and was charged for possession of a rhino horn. He will appear at the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court,” she said.
MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube welcomed the arrest. “This weekend, I was informed about the arrest of a 30-year-old man, who was found in possession of rhino horn worth R1.2 million,” said DubeNcube.
“On September 23, I visited game rangers and law enforcement agencies at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. I was impressed and encouraged by an integrated approach that has been adopted and implemented in fighting wildlife crime,” she added.
Dube-Ncube said money earned in the illicit animal trade was worth more than US$10 billion and that such illegal activities resulted in the loss of biodiversity, and destruction of the ecosystem.
She added that, guided by the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, they were obliged to sustain the fight against wildlife-related crime. “In terms of the Act, the illegal trade in ivory is a criminal offence and anyone found guilty could spend a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or face a fine of R10 million.”