Cops seize rifles‚ silencers as they arrest 36 suspects for rhino crimes

Thirty-six suspects have been arrested over the past three weeks in connection with crimes related to rhino poaching‚ police said.

The Rhino 8 Task Team also confiscated four vehicles‚ including a VW Golf‚ a Ford Ranger Wildtrack‚ a Nissan Navara‚ together with 12 unlicensed firearms‚ including rifles‚ as well as a variety of ammunition‚ silencers‚ a hacksaw‚ axes‚ knives‚ 27 cellphones and three rhino horns as well an elephant tusk.

The arrests took place in Mpumalanga‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo in the following areas: Acornhoek‚ Calcutta‚ Hazyview‚ Elukwatini‚ Skhukuza‚ Hluhluwe‚ Mtubatuba‚ Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa.

Most of the suspects have appeared in court on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm‚ unlawful possession of ammunition‚ possession of a dangerous weapon/s‚ trespassing‚ hunting a protected animal‚ kidnapping‚ assault‚ possession of the remains of a wild animal‚ possession of suspected stolen property‚ or being in the country illegally.

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