Home South African Four arrested in Mahikeng attempting to sell pangolin for R250,000

Four arrested in Mahikeng attempting to sell pangolin for R250,000

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The four suspects were arrested at the Crossing Mall in Mahikeng where the pangolin was found in their vehicle.

Four people have been arrested while attempting to sell a pangolin for R250,000. Picture: Supplied/Hawks

THREE men and a woman, aged between 33 and 59, were arrested by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit in Mahikeng, North West, as they were attempting to sell a pangolin for R250,000.

“The [Hawks] team operationalised information regarding the suspects who were looking for a buyer for the pangolin. The suspects were arrested at the Crossing Mall in Mahikeng where the pangolin was found in the suspects’ vehicle,” said North West Hawks spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso.

“The vehicle was seized for further investigation. Meanwhile, the pangolin has been taken for safekeeping.”

Rikhotso said the four suspects will appear before the Mmabatho Magistrate’s Court on Monday, facing charges of wildlife trafficking under the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act 10 of 2004.

Picture: Supplied/Hawks

In February, the South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR), the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) celebrated World Pangolin Day, which falls on the third Saturday of February every year.

The SAAMBR said World Pangolin Day was an opportunity to join together in raising awareness about the plight of these gentle animals.

“Unfortunately, pangolins are killed and trafficked in great numbers. The IUCN categorises pangolins from vulnerable to critically endangered,” Saambr said.

“While we reflect on the plight of the pangolin, let’s remember all the other creatures both terrestrial and marine who need our protection…”

SAAMBR quoted Sir David Attenborough who said: “Pangolins are very important in the whole ecosystem that we have. If you lose pangolins, you upset all sorts of things, but the sheer inhumanity of not looking after such a beautiful, gentle animal as a pangolin breaks my heart.”

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