Arrests in connection with illegal lion bone smuggling


Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Barbara Creecy congratulated the Green Scorpions on the arrest of three suspects in connection with lion bone smuggling.

“The success of the joint operation again confirms sharing of information and collaboration between the different law enforcement entities is key in South Africa’s fight against wildlife crime,” she said.

Members of the Green Scorpions at O R Tambo International Airport cargo terminal stopped the illegal export of lion bones from South Africa.

Environmental Management Inspectors were alerted to the suspicious shipment on 1 October after it was discovered there was no booking for the shipment of lion bones.

Three Green Scorpions were joined by a member of the police’s crime intelligence unit.

According to the transportation document, the shipment was incorrectly declared.

When inspected, 12 boxes of lion bones wrapped in aluminium foil and weighing 342kg were found.

A follow-up operation including the Hawks, Ekurhuleni Metro Police, Police Crime Intelligence and the Green Scorpions saw a person arrested in Kempton Park and taken to OR Tambo International Airport police station for questioning.

Investigations are ongoing.