Another cop arrested as Hawks crack down on rhino horns

A 33-year-old police constable was arrested on Thursday morning by a Hawks team leading an investigation into a rhino horn syndicate.

Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the female suspect was from the Acornhoek Stock Theft Unit. She will appear in court in Hazyview soon.

Six other suspects were arrested in Mpumalanga on Tuesday. Four are either former or current police officials‚ including from Skukuza and White River.

Mulaudzi said they will reappear at the White River Magistrate’s Court on September 27 after being charged with theft‚ conspiracy to commit a crime‚ illegal buying and selling of rhino horns‚ corruption and money laundering during a brief court appearance on Wednesday.

At the time of their arrests‚ Mulaudzi said officers found and seized luxury vehicles and motorbikes‚ trucks‚ cash‚ animal skins‚ properties and allegedly stolen items estimated to be worth millions of rands.

The “significant breakthrough” follows an investigation into the criminal supply chain of poached rhinos within the Kruger National Park‚ KwaZulu-Natal‚ Gauteng and other private or state-owned reserves‚ said Mulaudzi.

“The syndicate members allegedly ran poaching groups with the support of corrupt police officials and other officials from the protected areas‚” he explained.

The operation continues.

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