GAUTENG – The Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court will hear this morning the alleged involvement of a police official and his accomplice in illegal dealings of rhino horns allegations.
It is alleged that in May 2019, a 53-year-old Warrant Officer attached to the Serious Organised Crime Investigation in Gauteng and his 39-year-old female accomplice allegedly dropped off a consignment in a warehouse at Pomona declared as wine, destined for Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
Hawks’ investigation team focussing on endangered species were alerted about the suspicious wine consignment. Upon arrival at the warehouse, authorities searched the wooden crate containing wine and found thirty rhino horns wrapped in plastic concealed under the crate. The crate with its content was taken to Forensic Services for analysis. Further investigation led the police to positively identified shipment senders, a police official and a court interpreter. Warrants of arrest were issued for their apprehension.
An intelligence operation was conducted simultaneously in Brakpan and Basonia yesterday where both suspects were successfully arrested. Police seized electronic gadgets and documents for investigation. The suspects will be facing charges of illegal dealing in rhino horns and contravention of the Customs and Excise Act. More arrests cannot be ruled out as investigation continues.