Preetoria: 12 June 2015 – The South African Police Service’s National Intervention Unit and Mpumalanga Tracking Team pounced on three suspected rhino poachers in the early hours of this morning, 12 June 2015, in Acornhoek, Mpumalanga.

A 30 year old South African male and a 32 year old Mozambican male were arrested at their place of residents where a 416 calibre Hunting Rifle and a 458 silencer with no serial number were discovered. They have been charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and will appear at the Acornhoek Magistrate Court tomorrow, Friday 12 June 201.

Shortly after these suspects were arrested, a 38 year old South African male was also arrested for a separate suspected rhino poaching case. He was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition after a 38 Special Revolver with no serial number, two 38 rounds, a 38 cartridge and an axe were found at his place of residents. He will also appear at the Acornhoek Magistrate Court on Friday 12 June 2015.

Our efforts to deal with this plague proactively are steadily gaining momentum. However, while these positive results can be attributed to close and untiring cooperation of our local communities, a lot more still needs to be done to save our animals, particularly the rhinos.

While we are tackling the foot soldiers of this evil, we will continue to focus our efforts on the leaders of this criminal underworld because these are the people that are creating a market for this type of products. To this end, environmental crimes, especially rhino poaching is listed as one of the priorities of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Committee (SARPCCO). With the collaboration and commitment of the police chiefs in this region, we are confident that the space for this criminality to perpetuate is drastically limited.