Police deployed in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga in the northeastern corner of South Africa as part of “Operation Rhino” have arrested 16 suspects in the past seven days for possession of firearms, hijacking, conspiracy to poach and possession of rhino horns.
The suspects were arrested in Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal, Phalaborwa in Limpopo and Skukuza in Mpumalanga, the police said here Thursday.
Eight of the suspects, whose ages range from 19 to 40 years, were found in possession of seven firearms (two pistols and five hunting rifles), 45 rounds of ammunition, a hijacked vehicle, hunting knives and axes.
Members of Operation Rhino — who comprise forensic experts, detectives, the National Intervention Unit, Crime Intelligence and the Tactical Response Team — secured the arrests during intelligence-driven operations in the national parks and the areas surrounding these parks.
All eight suspects have already appeared in the local magistrate’s court in Skukuza, Mhala, Hluhluwe, Mkhuze, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit. Their cases were postponed to different dates for bail application and further investigation.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK