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Five suspects arrested for allegedly stealing protected plants

Northern Cape police arrested five suspects for allegedly being in possession of protected plants and transporting them. Photo:Supplied

Northern Cape police arrested five suspects for allegedly being in possession of protected plants and transporting them. Photo:Supplied

Published Apr 26, 2022

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PRETORIA - Northern Cape police arrested five suspects for allegedly being in possession of protected plants and transporting them.

In a statement on Tuesday, police spokesperson Sergio Kock said police together with local farmers caught up with the alleged poachers and stopped their vehicle near Garies.

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“The vigilant team noticed a bag allegedly tossed out of the vehicle by the suspects and this resulted in the confiscation of 2 060 Conophytum (succulent) plants,” Kock said.

Kock said four cellphones and a Toyota Etios were confiscated from the suspects.

“The acting district commander for Namakwa, Colonel Schalk Andrews commended the team for their professional and relentless efforts in eradicating poaching of protected plants in the cluster,” Kock added.

In another incident, Limpopo police arrested two suspects along the N1 north near Louis Trichardt and recovered illicit cigarettes worth R1.7 million.

The arrests were made after suspects in a four-vehicle convoy abandoned the vehicles and ran away from police. The suspects were thought to be members of a cigarette-smuggling syndicate.

Lieutenant Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the convoy was intercepted after the SAPS received a tip-off that a group of suspects, travelling in a number of vehicles, were transporting illicit cigarettes from Zimbabwe to South Africa.

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“The four vehicles were spotted driving in a convoy, and police tried to stop them but they sped off. A car chase ensued and the suspects abandoned the vehicles and ran on foot towards the nearby farms,” said Ledwaba.

“Police managed to arrest two of the suspects aged 37 and 45, who are both foreign nationals.”

The four vehicles, a Ford Territory SUV, a Toyota Quantum, a Volvo SUV and a Nissan Hardbody were searched and about 130 boxes containing illicit cigarettes worth R1.7m were found and confiscated.

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