Cape Town - The Hawks are investigating a case of theft after 51 rhino horns worth R9 million were stolen from a vault at the premises of the North West Parks and Tourism Board in Mahikeng.
It is alleged that burglars broke in to the facility at the early hours of Monday morning, managed to evade all the security in place and located vault keys which they used to enter the vault.
The suspects used the keys to gain access to the rhino horn stockpile, and vanished with 51 rhino horns worth R9 million.
The Hawks in the North West have confirmed that there was a break-in at the North West Parks and Tourism Board on Monday, June 26 2023, where about 51 rhino horns were allegedly stolen.
“The matter is being investigated by the North West Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation, and no arrests have been made at this stage,” Hawks Lieutenant Colonel Tinyiko Mathebula said.
Meanwhile, DA members of parliament, Dave Bryant and Hannah Winkler, said that the incident not only represents a significant loss of magnificent creatures but also highlights the dire need for enhanced security measures to protect rhino stockpiles.
Bryant and Winkle also urged Minister Barbara Creecy to take immediate action to address the security breach and ensure the safety of valuable rhino horn stockpiles.
“We call upon the minister to provide transparency on the incident, including a comprehensive account of the steps being taken to recover the stolen horns and bring the perpetrators to justice,” DA MPs said.
They further requested Creecy to present a detailed plan outlining enhanced security measures for safeguarding rhino stockpiles across the country.