SANParks staff members arrested on suspicion of rhino poaching

Posted on 23 October 2020

Three South African National Parks (SANParks) staff members have been arrested on suspicion of rhino poaching.

In a statement, SANParks announced that the three staff member were arrested on October 20 in an extended Intel driven operation by SANParks, SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit, Sabi Sands and Skukuza SAPS Stock Theft Unit outside Kruger Gate.

The staff members were found with rhino horns. Picture: Pexels

The arrest of the suspects followed after the law enforcement officials chased after their car, which was found with a fresh set of rhino horns. Investigations are ongoing.

Two of the officials were employed as Security Guards and one was attached to Technical Services at one of the rest camps. The three were likely to appear in court on Thursday, October 22 and will thereafter be subjected to internal employee disciplinary procedures.

The Managing Executive of the Kruger National Park, Gareth Coleman commented: ‘Whilst not commenting on the merits or otherwise of this case, it is always disheartening when colleagues from SANParks are involved in criminal activities. It breaks down trust amongst employees which impacts on our responsibilities to act as an effective conservation authority serving the people of South Africa. Whilst they may succeed in the short term, history shows that they will eventually be caught and this will be at the expense of their employment, the wellbeing of their families and community.’

Between July and September 2020, the anti-poaching teams arrested 16 suspected poachers inside the Park and confiscated seven rifles. The teams also observed and followed-up on 410 poaching activities, sightings, spoors and camps in the last three months.

SANParks remains committed to doing everything in its power to stop poaching and help secure the future of fauna and flora for sustainable use and for the benefit of future generations.

Members of the public and employees are encouraged to report wildlife criminal activities on 013 735 0197 or 076 801 9679.

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