The South African Police Service (SAPS) members who have been deployed to KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces as part of Operation Rhino, have arrested a total of eight suspects in the past seven days for possession of firearms, hijackings, conspiracy to poach and possession of rhino horns.
Between the eight of them, the suspects, whose ages range from 19 to 40 years, were found in possession of seven firearm (two pistols and hunting rifles), 45 rounds of ammunition, a hijacked vehicle, hunting knives and axes. They were arrested in around Mtubatuba KwaZulu-Natal, Phalaborwa in Limpopo and Skukuza in Mpumalanga.
Members of Operation Rhino, who comprise of forensic experts, Detectives, the National Intervention Unit, Crime Intelligence and the Tactical Response Team, effected these arrests during intelligence driven operations in the national parks and the areas adjacent these parks.
All of the eight have already appeared in the local magistrate’s court in Skukuza, Mhala, Hluhluwe, Mkhuze, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit, and their cases were postponed to different dates for bail application and further investigations.