The joint security forces including the Endangered Species of the Hawks, the NPA and Department of Environmental Affairs have made huge strides in efforts to thwart rhino poaching in South Africa.
This team has seized assets in the region of R 55 million, believed to have been acquired through criminal activities, particularly rhino poaching from Dawie Groenewald and two veterinary surgeons, Drs Karel Toet and Manie Du Plessis.
Since January this year 99 people were arrested for rhino related crimescountry wide.
One on the most prominent and notorious syndicates led by Joseph Nyalunga and 8 others were arrested on the 2 March 2012 outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga. During the operation over R 5 million rand in cash was seized from his house in Mhulu, hidden in a trunk in his garage. Several firearms, knifes and vehicles were seized from the suspects.
A Chinese syndicate responsible for the buying of rhino horns in Bruma Lake were arrested by the Hawks. Four Chinese nationals were arrested and charges of racketeering are being brought against them. The value of their operation is estimated at R 3 Million. The accused are still in custody.
Currently 57 cases are on the court roll in which 161 accused are charged. 65 of these accused are held in custody while 96 accused have been released on bail according to Police spokesperson Colonel Vishnu Naidoo.