Two alleged rhino poachers, including police officer, released on bail

Posted by David Henning on 20 September 2021

Two alleged rhino poachers, a police officer and a Chinese interpreter, have been released on bail after appearing in Palm View Magistrates Court in Johannesburg, IOL reports.

The two accused, Warrant Officer Stephanus Peter Peters, 53, and Lina Zhang, 39, were granted R5 000 and R20 000 bail. They are expected to appear in court again on 10 November while the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and Hawks investigate further.

Peters and Zhang are alleged to have dropped off a consignment destined for Malaysia at Pomona in Kempton Park after falsely declaring it as wine.

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Hawks Gauteng Captain, Ndivhuwo Mulamu, said that an investigative team that focuses on endangered species was informed about the consignment and they searched the warehouse until they found a wooden crate containing wine and 30 rhino horns wrapped in plastic, concealed under the crate.

Malamu commented that the crate was taken to forensic services for further analysis. ‘Further investigation led the police to positively identify the shipment senders, a police official and a court interpreter. Warrants of arrest were issued for their apprehension,’ Maluma said.

The suspects were arrested in Brakpan and Bassionia on Thursday after an intelligence operation. Hawks also seized electronic gadgets and documents for investigation.

‘Both accused were granted bail during their first court appearance facing charges of dealing in illegal rhino horns and contravening the Customs Act. The warrant officer was granted R5 000 bail, while the Chinese court interpreter was granted R20 000 bail. They are both expected back in court on November 10. The case is postponed for further investigation,’ Malamu said.

Featured image: Getaway Gallery


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