A total of eleven suspected poachers were arrested by police and rangers on 13 January in and outside the Kruger National Park, SANParks has announced.
The arrests were carried out by the SANParks Rangers Corps, South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) also known as the Hawks.
The first arrests took place in the Malelane area outside the Kruger National Park (KNP), where six suspects were taken into custody and a high calibre firearm and ammunition confiscated. A second SAPS operation in the Hazyview area 57 kms outside KNP resulted in the recovery of six rhino horns, SANParks said on Monday.
Inside the KNP, Satara Rangers managed to arrest three suspected rhino poachers in a follow up operation and recovered a firearm, ammunition and poaching equipment. In the Stolsnek Section of the national park, Rangers managed to arrest two suspects after discovering a freshly poached rhino carcass. A rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment were also recovered.
Reacting to the news, the Chief Ranger in the KNP Nicholus Funda congratulated all the units involved in the arrests “our mission to achieve success in fighting this scourge is based on teamwork and support within all law enforcement agencies, communities and our neighbouring private reserves. The resultant arrests of 11 individuals in one single day, is a good start to the year and will demonstrate to the crime syndicates that we are serious about ending this cruel attack on our heritage as a collective and are determined to protect our fauna and flora,” concluded Funda.