The Hawks in Gauteng have arrested two cross-border truck drivers from Zambia for being in illegal possession of pangolin in Primrose, Germiston.
On Friday, August 18, 2023, members of the Hawks’ Germiston based Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI) arrested two suspects for the illegal possession of a pangolin in Primrose, Germiston.
Information was received by the Hawks’ about two suspects in transit in an e-hailing vehicle suspected to be in possession of a pangolin.
"When members of the SOCI arrived at the scene, they found the two suspects, who are cross-border truck drivers from Zambia, carrying one pangolin in a carry bag," Hawks spokesperson, Warrant Officer Thatohatsi Mavimbela said.
Mavimbela further added that both suspects were arrested and charged with illegal possession of endangered species and contravening the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA).
Mavimbela also confirmed that the pair will make their first court appearance on Monday, August 28, 2023, at the Germiston Magistrate's Court.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world.
The eight species of pangolin, four in Africa and four in Asia, are under threat.
“Over the past decade, over a million pangolins have been illegally taken from the wild to feed demand in China and Vietnam.
“Their meat is considered a delicacy, while their scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine as they are believed to treat a range of ailments, from asthma to rheumatism and arthritis,” the organisation said.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), two of the African species of pangolin are considered vulnerable and two are endangered.
Of the Asian species, one is endangered while the other three are critically endangered.