Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Mozambican soldiers arrested for poaching in South Africa
Police believe that an international poaching syndicate employing Mozambican soldiers is behind the killing of at least 50 rhinos across SA this year, says a Cape Argus report.
This follows a shootout with police early on Friday morning, when two men were killed and a third injured at a private game reserve near the Kruger National Park. According to the report, a police source said they arrested seven people, including the wounded suspect, who had been put under police guard at a hospital in Mpumalanga.
Police said they uncovered the suspected syndicate after receiving a tip-off that a gang was planning to poach rhinos at the private game reserve. The nine-man alleged poacher gang, which is thought to be part of a larger poaching syndicate, is believed to have been staking out the game park for several weeks, according to a source.
The report quotes a police officer as saying: 'During initial investigations we discovered that seven of the suspects are from Mozambique, with two of them apparently being members of the Mozambican Defence Force.'
The report notes that the suspected poachers are due to appear in court soon on charges of possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
And, in more rhino conservation news, an impassioned plea to stop the wildlife slaughter has brought rhino activists and a SA artist together for one of the biggest anti-poaching campaigns in SA's wildlife history.
Source: Legal Brief (SA)