Johannesburg – Two men and a woman were expected to appear in a Mpumalanga court on Tuesday after six rhino horns were allegedly found in their possession during the lockdown.
The horns are believed to be sets from three dead rhinos.
The Hawks’s Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said they, together with Crime Intelligence, Tactical Response Team, Tracking Team and the Local Criminal Record Centre worked on the matter after it emerged that the three were allegedly dealing in rhino horns.
He said the team obtained a search and seizure warrant and descended on the suspects house at Clau-Clau Newscom in Pienaar.
“On arrival at the premises, an intensive search commenced and members located a number of hunting knives in one of the three vehicles that were parked inside the yard. They also uncovered a sizable amount of money inside the house.
“The team proceeded with the search around the yard and found six rhino horns hidden inside the outside restroom.”
Mulaudzi said the three suspects, two males and one female aged between 24 and 34 were later arrested.
Three vehicles, money and the six rhino horns were also seized, he said.
The suspects were expected to appear before Kabokweni Magistrate Court on Tuesday for the illegal possession of rhino horns in terms of the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act and investigations into the matter are still continuing.
The Hawks head Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya welcomed the arrests and said they would continue to deal decisively with those who are involved in poaching rhinos.
“We shall be following the motive which is probably the making of an unexplained wealth with view to attaching same,” l Lebeya said.
By Botho Molosankwe