Parliamentary Question: DoP: Intention to re-establishing the Endangered Species Protection Unit

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QUESTION NO 2885

Mr P F Smith (IFP) to ask the Minister of Police:
(1) Whether, with reference to the 153 rhinos poached in 2010 by organised syndicates, he intends re-establishing the Endangered Species Protection Unit; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(2) whether the SA Police Service (SAPS) has had any success in apprehending the poachers and members of the syndicates responsible for these killings; if not, why not; if so, what (a) success and (b) are the further relevant details;
(3) whether the SAPS has any partnership with its Mozambican counterpart to deal with poaching syndicates; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:
(1) No, there is no need to reestablish the Endangered Species Protection Unit as there exists a capacity dealing with endangered species within the Organised Crime Investigation Unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.
(2)
(a) Yes.
(b) Since January 2010 to date, a total number of 109 arrests were affected in relation to rhino poaching and 9 syndicates were identified and are under investigation.
(3) Yes, the SAPS has cooperation with the Mozambican Police both at a bilateral level and through the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO). There is bilateral cooperation between the SAPS and our Mozambican counterparts to deal with poaching syndicates.



Reply to question 2885 approved by the Minister