The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa has commended the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) on the arrest at the OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday 23 November 2016 of a Chinese national for suspected dealing in rhino horn.
The arrest followed a routine search by the police, which led to the recovery of eighteen rhino horns weighing about 43kg concealed in his travelling bags. The seized horn is valued at approximately R6.6 million.
The 28 year-old male who was in transit to Hong Kong from Namibia, will appear before the Kempton Park Magistrates Court on Friday 25 November 2016 for dealing in rhino horn under the Endangered Spices Act.
Minister Molewa applauded the Hawks on their swift action, saying Two months since South Africa hosted the landmark 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES (COP17) these arrests are a major victory in our fight against the illicit wildlife trade."
"They further affirm the success of our multidisciplinary Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach, as well as the SAPS-led National Integrated Strategy on Combatting Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT).
We are confident that this arrest will lead to a successful prosecution, and will send a clear message that rhino poaching will not be tolerated in South Africa, she added.
Between 1 January and the end of August 2016 a total of 414 alleged poachers have been arrested in South Africa � of which 177 were in the Kruger National Park and 237 for the rest of the country.
The Integrated Strategic approach involves the Department of Environmental Affairs, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African State Security Agency, Justice and Correctional Services Department, South African National Parks (SANParks), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and provincial conservation agencies.
It has a number of key pillars, namely:
Managing rhino populations,
Long-term sustainability interventions, and
New interventions, within the context of regional and international cooperation
Source: Department of Environmental Affairs