Cops nab NC rhino poaching suspect
A SUSPECT, who has been implicated in the poaching of two rhinos on a game farm near Colesberg in July, has been arrested.
Eburra James, who at the time of the alleged incident worked on the farm in Colesberg, was arrested last week Wednesday in Forrestdale, Dundee. He made a brief appearance in the Colesberg Magistrate’s Court earlier this week.
James’ arrest came after the Northern Cape police requested members of the Glencoe Stock Theft Unit to help trace the suspect, after he apparently fled the Colesberg game farm.
The Glencoe police swooped on a container tuck shop in Forrestdale last Wednesday, where they apprehended James, who is a Malawian national.
Other farm workers, originally from Thabazimbi in Limpopo and other areas, are believed to be also linked to the poaching.
The carcasses of the two white rhinos were discovered, with their horns removed, at the private game reserve near Colesberg in July.
A few days earlier, eight white rhinos were also slaughtered near Kimberley and the remains of the animals were left on the farm. Three of the rhinos had been dehorned.
According to conservationists, it appeared as if the same modus operandi was used in both incidents.
A rhino horn has an estimated black market value of about R2.3 million.
According to rhino poaching statistics released by the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa, in February, 1 054 rhino were poached in 2016, of which 662 rhino carcasses were found at the Kruger National Park.
She indicated that there had been 2 883 incidents of poaching-related activities, including poaching camps, contacts, crossings, sightings, tracks and shots fired, at the Kruger National Park.
Molewa had stated that criminal gangs, which were linked to a well-resourced and funded transnational syndicate, were involved in the sale of rhino horn, where 680 poachers and traffickers were arrested during 2016.
More than 106 rhinos were relocated from the Kruger National Park to various “private rhino strongholds” for safety and security reasons last year after suitability assessments were conducted