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Game farmer accused of poaching

Vryburg -

A Free State game farmer appeared in the Vryburg Regional Court on Wednesday in connection with rhino poaching, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.

Poaching has become a serious threat to South Africa's remaining rhino population. File photo: Jennifer Bruce. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Marnus Steyl was granted bail of R100,000 and was ordered to hand over his passport, spokesman Frank Lesenyego said.

“If he wants to travel abroad he must pay R10,000 to get his passport and when he returns he will be given the money back. Those are his bail conditions.”

The matter was postponed to March 25.

The 38-year-old faces 23 charges of fraud, five of illegal rhino hunting, one of money-laundering, and one of contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act.

Steyl reported to the court on Wednesday morning following the issuing of a warrant of arrest, prosecutor Douw Jacobs said.

Last year Steyl was accused alongside Thai national Chumlong Lemthongthai for among other things, illegally trading in and exporting rhino horn.

In November 2012 the charges against him were dropped.

Lemthongthai, who pleaded guilty to trading in rhino horn, was sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment. - Sapa

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