Farm Watch assists in arrest of rhino poaching syndicate kingpin

South African Police Service

Farm Watch assists in arrest of rhino poaching syndicate kingpin
Farm Watch assists in arrest of rhino poaching syndicate kingpin

A 59-year-old male suspect believed to be a kingpin of rhino poaching syndicate between Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces was apprehended during a joint intelligence operation conducted by the Provincial Stock Theft Unit, Hoedspruit police and local Farm Watch and Policing Forum on Saturday 27 May 2023 at about 17:00 in the Mopàni District.

Police received information about two suspects who were driving a Grey Toyota Bakkie that was suspected to be involved in rhino poaching in Lydenburg, Mpumalanga province.

The motor vehicle was spotted driving along the R531 public road at Klaserie One Stop Station in Kampersrus and immediately set-up a stop and search operation in the vicinity with the attempt to block the suspect’s motor vehicle.

While approaching the roadblock, the suspects unexpectedly made a U-turn and drove back to the same direction. A car chase ensued for about 6 kilometres until it stopped in the middle of the road and one suspect vacated the motor vehicle and managed to flee into the bushes to evade arrest and dropped a black bag on the road.

Afterwards, the motor vehicle continued to drive off until it was subsequently cornered at Kampersrus after it collided with another motor vehicle.

The motor vehicle was searched and police discovered cash money concealed at the backseat.

The driver of the motor vehicle was immediately placed under arrest on the spot.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspect is linked with a series of cases that include murder, racketeering and rhino poaching that were committed this year in Mpumalanga province.

In addition, the black bag that was dropped from the vehicle was searched and police found six (6) 375 live rounds, one silencer and three (3) knives believed to have been utilized in the commission of the crimes.

The Provincial Commissioner of South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe applauded the teams involved in apprehending the suspect.” This collaborative effort between our members and other Security Structures is paying off in ensuring the safety of our community”. Concluded General Hadebe.

A manhunt of the unknown suspect is underway and anyone with information that can assist with his apprehension should contact the Investigating Officer Captain Pieter Meyer on 0660164156 or crime stop number 0860010111 or MySAPSApp.

The suspect is expected to appear before the Hoedspruit Periodical court on Monday 29 May 2023.

Police investigations are continuing.

SAPS Newsroom

SOURCESouth African Police Service