Durban - A specialised unit, set up to fight poaching have made great strides in their bid to stamp out rhino poaching. Over the last six months, a total of 365 rhino poachers have been convicted and an additional 15 men aged between 33 and 50, have been arrested.
National police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the 15 were nabbed following sting operations in Mpumalanga.
He said police recovered four unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
Naidoo said between January and June 2018, the Rhino 9 Task Team secured various convictions, the maximum nine years’ imprisonment and the least being three months’ imprisonment with the option of paying a R1 500 fine.
“Of the 365 suspects who were arrested, 165 remain in custody while facing court processes, six were deported to their native countries, 11 received fines and 57 are serving their various jail terms. These convictions are evidence of the commitment of law enforcement agencies and game reserve parks to preserve endangered species for future generations,” Naidoo said.