Four nabbed in sting operation while trying to sell endangered plants worth R2 million
Kimberley - South African Police Service (SAPS) officers in the Northern Cape have arrested four men after they were allegedly found in possession of endangered plant species valued at about R2 million, the SAPS in the province said on Saturday.
Members of the Springbok SAPS stock theft and endangered species unit carried out a successful operation in the early hours of Saturday morning, which led to the arrest of four suspects for possession of endangered species, spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba said in a statement.
"The four suspects are aged 19, 29, 35 and 37. Three are from Kamieskroon and one is from Leliefontein, which is close to Kamieskroon in the Namakwa district.
"It was at around 03:00 this morning [Saturday] when the four suspects agreed to sell endandered plants valued at about R2 million on the N7 road in the Namakwa district to members of the Namakwa stock theft and endangered species unit led by Detective Captain Karel du Toit. [The] purchase price was set at R600,000," Ramatsebe said.
Two of the suspects were immediately arrested and their Ford Ranger bakkie was confiscated. The endangered species - conophytum pageae and concavum plants - were also confiscated.
Du Toit had applauded the members of his team for their good work during the operation. The four suspects were expected to appear in the Springbok Magistrates' Court on Monday on charges of contravening the Northern Cape Nature Conservation Act. The police investigation was continuing, Ramatseba said.
African News Agency (ANA)