Thursday, June 9, 2011

South Africa: Special intelligence unit set up to crack poaching scourge

A specialised intelligence and policing unit has been appointed to crack down on poaching syndicates that are decimating South Africa's rhino population.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure, or Natjoints, the same team that controlled security and intelligence measures during last year's World Cup and quelled a 2009 outbreak of xenophobic violence has now begun working on bringing a swift end to poaching.

National police spokesperson, Sally De Beer, says they have been called in amid fears that poaching levels in the country have spiralled out of control - with an estimated one rhino being killed every day. She says they have started in the Kruger National Park, and have already arrested two poachers. She says breakthroughs in KZN are expected soon.

"We have activated our provincial joint operational and intelligence structure, and similar operations will be launched throughout the country in all the government-owned and private game reserves," she said.

"We know that KZN has a problem, and we have had an arrest and conviction from your province lately, so we are very hopeful that we are going to get on top of this crime trend."

Source: Eastcoast Radio

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