Pretoria – The Hawks in Mpumalanga have arrested two women and a man for a conspiracy to poach rhinos at the Kruger National Park on Thursday.

A tip-off was received from an anonymous source about a group of people who were plotting to poach rhinos at the park. Security at all the gates was alerted and on Thursday afternoon the identified vehicle was stopped at the Numbi gate. Upon searching it a .375 hunting rifle was found hidden at the engine compartment of the vehicle, while the silencer and the ammunition were hidden in the boot.

The intention was to drop-off the firearm inside the park so that it could be picked up by poachers who were already inside the park. One suspect evaded arrest and fled into the bush. The three suspects, aged 20, 21 and 25, will appear before the White River Magistrate’s Court on Friday, facing charges of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition as well as a conspiracy to poach rhinos.