Leading Jansenville farmer held after cycad bust

PROMINENT Jansenville farmer Robert Biggs was arrested yesterday in connection with a R2-million endangered cycads bust last week.

Biggs, 52, was held for allegedly uprooting cycads without a permit and several flora-related transgressions.

Authorities have described this as one of the biggest cycad busts in the province, totalling about R4-million which includes uprooted cycads on Biggs’s farm and the plants seized last week .

The specialist Green Scorpions, who fall under provincial Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism head Div de Villiers, confirmed that Biggs was arrested for allegedly being in cahoots with cycad smugglers.

“When we viewed the farm, an additional 51 cycads were found uprooted in the mountains on his farm,” he said.

The arrest came after Biggs handed himself over to Green Scorpions investigators at the Jansenville police station yesterday.

-Gareth Wilson 

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